Page 6 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • April 29, 2009
Republican chair awards ballot line to incumbent
by Frank J. McMahon The ballot position for the four Franklin Lakes Republican council candidates in this June’s primary election has been determined, and Robert B. Yudin, chairman of the Bergen County Republican Organization, has confirmed that he has placed incumbent Councilman Brian Trava and his running mate, Tom Murphy, on the Republican County Organization vertical line on the ballot. “I’m supporting Brian Trava and Tom Murphy and I have given the line to them,” Yudin said last week. “Brian is an incumbent and, as a rule, I support incumbents unless they do something egregious. Also, they are supported by Mayor Maura DeNicola and I look at the incumbent mayor’s recommendation very closely and I try, where possible, to support the decision of the incumbent mayor.” As a result, Trava and Murphy, who are also supported by the borough’s Republican Forum organization, will have their names on the same vertical line on the ballot as the Republican candidates who are seeking their party’s nomination to seek election to the Bergen County Chosen Board of Freeholders in the Nov. 3 general election. The two Republican candidates who will be challenging Trava and Murphy in the primary, William Smith and Frank Bivona, have been endorsed by the borough’s Republican Club. The challengers had filed a request to be placed on the county party line after filing their nominating petitions. Their names were also drawn first in the ballot position drawing held in the municipal clerk’s office on April 16, and a reliable source has reported that they were originally given the Republican Party line on the ballot by the campaign manager for the freeholder candidates who claimed that right according to state statute. Yudin, however, threatened to go to court to challenge that interpretation of the statute and to confirm his right to choose which candidates would be given the party line. State Republican leaders then intervened, and an agreement was reached to give Yudin the choice of candidates for the Republican line. Position on the party line on the ballot is considered important to the candidates because it is believed that many party voters vote for all the candidates straight down the party line when casting their ballots. Trava reacted to the news that he and his running mate would be on the Republican line saying, “Mr. Yudin is working hard to bring the Republican Party in Bergen County back to its grass roots of financial conservatism. He is supportive of us and he is confident that the job I am doing in Franklin Lakes has been benefiting all the residents. Mr. Murphy brings additional strengths in finance and technology along with energetic and fresh ideas.” Trava ran on the county Republican line three years ago with Mayor Maura DeNicola when she was elected mayor. DeNicola reacted to the ballot position decision, saying, “As the head of the Franklin Lakes Republican Party, we appreciate the support of county leaders along with state and county candidates. As today’s leaders and as Republican leaders, we must focus daily on openness, integrity, greater involvement from citizens, and pointed accountability for the taxpayer.” Smith said, “After winning the draw conducted by the borough clerk to determine the ballot position, and earning the endorsement of the Franklin Lakes Republican Club, I believed Frank Bivona and I would receive the favored column on the ballot with Chris Christie and the Republican freeholder candidates.
“I was disappointed to learn that Bob Yudin, the Republican county chairman, gave this column to Mayor DeNicola’s candidates. Why? Perhaps these political games are payback for her agreement to appoint Yudin’s attorney as the Franklin Lakes’ municipal attorney earlier this year. Also, since DeNicola’s candidates did not file the proper forms requesting the favored ballot position we are considering asking a judge to review the process. “I am confident that the voters in Franklin Lakes care enough about our campaign that our location in a less obvious spot on the ballot will not be crucial.”
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