Grand Old Party in Haledon

The Passaic County Republican Party has officially turned the corner, proved by recent press coverage, but most especially by last night's excellent fundraiser at the Brownstone House in Paterson, to benefit Haledon's GOP candidates.

First, newly elected Chairman Scott Rumana showed up and actually got behind the podium and spoke enthusiastically about the candidates and their ability to win! It was incredibly refreshing.

The audience was filled with people not only from Haledon, but from outside the town (like former State Senator Norm Robertson and Paterson Councilman Aslon Goow) who were happy and encouraged to support the Party's local candidates again, for the first time in a long while.

The local candidates: incumbent Mayor Ken Pengitore, former Councilman John Block, and newcomer Crystal Rolon, all spoke enthusiastically. We also heard from Freeholder candidates Jonathan Soto and Ken Del Vecchio, who gave introductory remarks and proposed a moment of silence for the family of former Chairman Michael Mecca. Their erstwhile 3rd running mate, Ronni Nochimson, did not attend - she will not remain a candidate, and there is at least one bombshell of a replacement name being thrown about.

Special congratulations to newly elected Municipal Chairman Ayman Mamkej, for putting together the event, and for helping to recruit the outstanding M.C. Rodney Laney and a hilarious comedian/ventriloquist. We had great laughs, and of course thoroughly enjoyed the Brownstone's tried-and-true "Beefsteak" menu.

Finally, I will add that this year's effort in Haledon is truly a ethnic outreach. Pengitore and his team "get it", our new Chairman Rumana "gets it", and the word is spreading. It started spreading through the Brownstone last night. How fortunate that Democrats like County Clerk Karen Brown and Paterson Board of Education member Andre Sayegh (an aide to State Senator John Girgenti), were attending an event right next door.

The message was broadcast loud and clear: sooner or later, we will retake territory that the Democrats stole under the incompetent previous GOP regime.