Source: Ticked Florio Mulls Challenge of Arango, or When Somerset Came to Hudson

When the Proximos of the world again become the gladiators, and the game makers – out of boredom perhaps or simply an unquenchable thirst for action – become the gamers, that signifies that all hell has probably broken loose.

In this case, the panorama of New York from the vantage point of Hoboken titillates the imagination of even the most jaded and jaundiced operatives who wash up on River Street, but for Dale Florio, the view that may fascinate him the most from his Hoboken domicile is not of New York – but of the Hudson political scene.

Twenty plus years the chairman of the Somerset County Republican Party, Florio moved to Hudson’s mile-square city after handing the party organization off the sitting Chairman Al Gaburo.

He has kept a low profile for years, but now the party finds itself in a gubernatorial rodeo.

In the midst of an increasingly hard-fought GOP primary where the bosses of the counties are as engaged or more engaged then the candidates in a fight for the future maintenance of the state apparatus in a post-Chris Christie world, Florio muses about the possibility of taking on Hudson County GOP Chairman Jose Arango, a source told InsiderNJ.

An ally of Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, Arango backs Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno for governor.

Florio is saddled up with Guadagno’s chief rival, Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16). As Guadagno and Ciattarelli jockey for line across the state of New Jersey, a testy contest among the chairs continues to bubble to the surface.

Earlier this week, InsiderNJ reported that Burlington County Republican Organization Chairman Bill Layton answered an emailed entreaty for his and other chairs’ attendance at a Republican chairs’ event with word that he does not care to attend.
“I will not be participating anymore,” Layton wrote. “This year we had agreed to have a chairs meeting and meet [with] all of the candidates for Governor. It never happened. I am not quite sure what this group does or accomplishes. When the group begins to work to promote the interests of all Republicans and not just a few then I will reconsider. Please forward this to the chairs.”
Arango serves as chair of the Republican chairs.

A GOP source said Layton and others were irritated when Arango agreed, then backed down – according to the source’s recollection – from having the meeting with the governors’ candidates.

Florio was also irritated.

So much so that the former chairman, principal and founder of Princeton Public Affairs, and Millicent Fenwick-molded Republican may decide on exercising a rematch clause on that 1974 Fenwick v. Tom Kean match-up that produced a congressional seat for the former.

Arango – a former assemblyman who rode to Trenton on Ronald Reagan’s and the GOP governor’s coattails – is a diehard Kean guy.

But for the moment it’s Arango’s chairmanship of the chairmen that frets Florio, who now gazes on Hudson with newfound political motivation as he stoutly advocates everywhere for Ciattarelli.



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