HACKENSACK –Fernando Alonso of Oradell won tonight.
He defeated fellow Republican John Driscoll of Paramus, 143-130 a week after the two LD 38 state senate hopefuls tied at 120.
"This was gut-wrenching," said Alonso, who beat the man whose ticket he ran on two years ago as a candidate for the assembly.
"John is a great campaigner and a good man," added Alonso, an attorney in charge of Hispanic outreach at Faireligh Dickinson University. "I'm happy we energized 84% of the delegate vote. We can again make New Jersey a great place. It was Governor Kean who was responsible for bringing me to New Jersey with those commercials - 'New Jersey and you, Perfect Together.'"
The chairman was likewise graitified that the war - this one anyway - was over.
"This is very encouraging," said Bergen County GOP Chairman Bob Yudin. "There were more delegates participating tonight than last Thursday. We're looking forward to top to bottom victories, from the governor on down."
Driscoll had been so nervous in the lead up to the Bergen County Republican Organization (BCRO) vote tally that he waited outside in his car.
"I had my day in the sun," said the former Freeholder Director, who said he would "absolutely" work hard for the entire LD 38 GOP ticket.
"Not at all," Driscoll beamed. "This is the best thing. Our party votes in an open and transparent process."
At 9 p.m., the county committee clerk announced that the polls were closed. The counting would begin in the backroom down that narrow paneled hallway where disappear the fates of all county Republicans whoever aspired to higher office - then re-emerge in the hands of Yudin.
Moments before the GOP chairman appeared, a mood of a friendly agitation prevailed.
“That’s why I’m here, to find out who my running mate is,” said Rochelle Park Twp. Committeeman Joe Scarpa, who’s running for the Assembly in LD 38.
“Horse in the race, mayor?” asked Old Tappan GOP Chair Bob Auth, who just won the LD 39 Assembly contest earlier this month to succeed indicted Assemblyman Robert Schroeder.
“There’s two horses in this race,” said Scarpa, who didn’t want to risk picking the wrong horse.
"I feel more nervous now than in my own contest," Auth admitted.
Then the announcement came.
The evening ended with a flourish of cigars by the devotees of Alonso and a toast to their champion.
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