Republicans seem to have settled on longtime candidate Todd Caliguire as their choice for mayor of Bergen County, but the controversial, racial harassment, anti-Asian newsletter from a fifteen-year-old campaign may condemn his candidacy.

Supporting 47% of Jack Chattarelli’s figures in Bergen County during last year’s gubernatorial race and polls showing the popularity of President Joe Biden and Gov. Phil Murphy falling – and special election victories in the normally democratic Maywood last month – the Republican Party hoped Tedesca in the third term.

Caliguire won Tuesday’s vote on the Bergen County Republican Party’s policy committee – their version of the screening committee – on Tuesday with 81% of the vote in the four-candidate race. This almost guaranteed him victory at the Republican Congress on March 23.

The 66-year-old Midland Park resident was once seen as a rising star in Bergen’s Republican politics. sought party support from a congressman in 1984 and as head of the county in 1986. He lost two races to the state senate, one for the county seat and one for the Republican candidacy for governor. He was a freelancer for two terms, but has not won an election since 1995.

Democrats seem delighted with the prospect of nominating Caligura.

“He doesn’t care about me,” one of the Bergen County Democrat leaders told the New Jersey Globe.

It was his last campaign – the Republican primaries in 2007 in the State Senate against Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove), whose mother was born in Korea – likely to return to pursue him.

His responsibility for the fact that the postcard is, in fact, attacking him for being an Asian American in the county who saw it The Asian-American population has grown by 31% over the past decade and now accounts for 18.4% of Bergen County’s population, is likely to be a problem in his political bid for return. There are enough Korean American voters in Bergen County, so all ballots must also be printed in Korean.

Caliguire sent out a letter containing photos of O’Toole, the state’s first Asian American lawmaker, and the Rev. Al Sharpton, claiming that O’Toole was “Republican El Sharpton.”

“Democrats like Al Sharpton have shared America with their commitment to race and positive action,” the statement said. “Now Kevin O’Toole is guilty of the same thing.”

O’Toole referred to the newsletter in Fr. a column on Asian hatred he wrote for the New Jersey Globe in March 2021.

“Not such a silent hand of racism will show its disgust when my opponent, trying to stir up racial waves, sent a letter about me and the Rev. Al Sharpton, calling us babies with positive actions,” he said.

Caliguaira company manager Kevin Collins defended their messages in an interview with The (Bergen) Record.

“We could have changed the photo. We didn’t do that, ”Collins told The Record. “We could make his skin more yellowish. We didn’t. “

Republican President at the time Tom Wilson repulsed Caliguire for harassment.

“This letter and such tactics have no place in the Republican primaries,” he told The Record. “Such mail, frankly, is unpleasant and seeks to create a section where it should not be.”

An automated call, also paid for by Caligira’s campaign, informed voters who voted on a primary basis that O’Toole was Korean. not the Irish. O’Toole’s parents met when his father was a U.S. Army soldier, serving in the Korean War.

O’Toole, who then served six terms, beat Caliguair by 13 points, even occupying part of Bergen County’s 40th Legislative District, fighting for a seat in the state Senate offline. This remains one of the few cases where the organizational line of the Bergen GOP has not been adhered to.

After the initial and mailing list, Bergen County GOP chairman Guy Talarico, who paid for part of the mailing list, resigned. The Republican State Committee passed a resolution banning Collins from working on Republican companies.

Caliguire later told The Record that he regretted the letter, but never apologized for it.

Perennial candidate

O’Toole spent fourteen years in the State Senate and remains popular and influential in the Bergen County municipalities he represented. Former mayor and MP Cedar Grove, he has been chairman of the mighty port of New York and New Jersey for five years.

But Caliguire, who achieved early success as assistant governor to Thomas Keane and attorney general Kerry Edwards in the 1980s, washed up early.

He ran for the state Senate in 1991, but lost to longtime incumbent President Matthew Feldman (D-Tinek), a former Senate president, with a 54-46% lead in the Republican wave, which saw less competitive constituencies fall amid voter outrage. -for the governor. Jim Florio’s $ 2.8 billion tax increase.

In 1992, Caliguire ran as a candidate for the Bergen County Freeholder and ousted incumbent Democratic President Mary Donahue, garnering about 7,500 votes. He was re-elected in 1995 – his last victory – and three years later he promised to serve only two terms and did not seek re-election.

When MP Marge Rukema (R-Ridgewood) considered retiring in 2002 after Republicans bypassed her and handed over the chair of the House Financial Services Committee to a lower-ranking lawmaker, Caliguire sought support to attend Congress. But he backed off after two other Bergen Republicans – State Senator Gerald Cardinal (R-Demorest) and MP David Rousse (R-Ridgewood) – decided to run.

In 2005, Caliguire launched a bizarre and terrifying Republican nomination for governor.

He did not look for an organizational line, and at the Republican Congress of Bergen County took last place, gaining only 9 votes, 1% of the 835 ballots cast.

In the June primaries, Caliguire was seventh out of seven candidates, garnering just 7,463 votes nationwide, just under 2.5%.

Caliguaira’s speech targeted O’Toole at the 2007 Senate primaries, saying he had “recklessly spent $ 517,000 of state (appropriate) funds to run for governor.” He criticized Caliguar’s “blind ambitions,” pointing to Fr. History of the New York Times this suggested that he used government funding as an “audition for a future speech”.

The following year, Caliguire did just that, deploying the campaign to head the county.

Kathleen Donavan, county clerk and former MP and chairman of the Republican Party, entered the race in late February. Referring to the deadline for submitting a letter of intent, Talarika refused to allow Dona to participate in the contest for organizational line at the Republican Congress.

Running off the line, Donovan garnered 577 votes from his victory over Caliguire in the Republican primaries with nearly 24,000 votes.

In the 2006 general election, incumbent President Dennis McNerney defeated Caliguira by 52,524 votes, 60.7% to 39.3%. This happened despite the fact that The Record supported Caliguaira.

When he ran for the Senate the following year, O’Toole criticized his plan to increase government spending by $ 2.9 billion, calling it “misleading” and “impossible.”

Christie Connection

Caliguire is one of the last allies of former Governor Chris Christie. They became allies through a mutual member, a member of the National Committee from the Republican Party Bill the House.

But because O’Toole kept a senatorial courtesy over Caliguire, Christie was limited to where he could place him.

In 2011, Christie appointed Caliguire as a commissioner of the State Investigation Commission. It was a direct appointment that did not require Senate approval. He took a vacancy that remained vacant after the death of his teacher Edwards.

In 2012, Caliguire left the SCI when Christie appointed him executive director of the North Jersey District Water Commission at a cost of $ 174,000 a year. Sierra Club director Jeff Titel said Caliguire “has no right” to hold the post.

Earlier that year, the family stationery and craft business, run by Caliguire, ANW Crestwood, Inc., filed for bankruptcy under Section 7. The process lasted until 2016.

After Gov. Phil Murphy took office in 2018, he appointed Assembly member Timothy Eustace (D-Mawood) to replace Caliguire as executive director.

But Caliguairo was allowed to remain deputy chief executive with the same salary, and he was able to remain in office until June 2020.

His retirement seemed to be timed to the point that he received a full state pension, and his survival in the highest paid country for more than two years testifies to the belief of many political insiders that some arrangement was forged to allow him to stay.

But Eustace in an email to the New Jersey Globe in January denied that Caligir had stayed at his job to increase his pension, and insisted that the allegations he made were “complete fabrication.”

“Todd stayed on the commission after I was made executive director because I wanted him to stay,” Eustace said. “His stay had nothing to do with Toda’s pension.”

According to Eustace, Caliguire “led several infrastructure improvements here during his tenure, modernizing the facility, which is nearly a hundred years old.”

“We were in the middle of a $ 25 million upgrade. We have worked very well together as a team that has benefited the Commission and our clients, ”Eustace said. “In fact, during Todd’s stay on the commission, water tariffs never increased.”

Now that Caligiur is challenging Tedesco to head the constituency, it looks like Eustace, a former Democrat MP, could become his validator.

Caliguire spent more than a decade in the state pension system while working in the Keane administration and as a freelancer in Bergen County – but records show that at some point he cashed in money. His appointment to the SCI allowed him to rejoin the civil service pension system. Records show that he retired with 232 months of service.

He began receiving a monthly pension of $ 2,823 in 2020.

A letter aimed at Kevin O’Toole’s Korean American roots at the 2007 Republican primaries.

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