Paramus Mayor Richard LaBarbier will not seek re-election for a fourth term, the New Jersey Globe confirmed, organizing a very competitive race for mayor this fall in one of the state’s most historically competitive swing towns.
Paramus Democrats are due to hold a meeting of the Verification Committee on Monday night, where council member Maria Elena Bellinger was considering a possible Democratic candidate to replace LaBarbier.
It is expected that the candidate for mayor from the Republican Party will be the deputy from the Republican Party Christopher DiPiazza.
Republicans took control of Paramus City Council in 2021 when Ace Adrian Antonio and Robert Kaiser swapped two seats. One of the losers was Holly Tedesco-Santos, a daughter of Bergen County Executive and former Paramus Mayor James Tedesco. This gave the Republican Party a 4-1 majority.
Paramus ran for Republican Jack Chattarelli in last year’s gubernatorial race with 1,043 votes, 56% -44%, against Gov. Phil Murphy. In 2017, Murphy defeated Paramus with 265 votes, 51% -47%, against Republican Kim Guadanho.
Donald Trump twice carried Paramus. In 2016, he won 253 votes, 60% -48%, and 169 votes, 50% -49%, in 2020.
Bellinger is serving his fourth term, and DiPiaz is serving his second.
In 2020, DiPiazza was the best with 7,887 votes, and Bellinger took second place with 7,767 votes. She was ahead of Republican Michael Roddick (7,471) and Democrat Dominique Minerwini (7,451).
Paramus Republicans are also looking for a new board member after Joseph Vartalon resigned last week as deputy director of PATH operations at the New York and New Jersey Port Authorities. Previously, Wartalon spent six years at the capital’s transport department in New York.
Vartalon was re-elected this year. The favorite to change it on a temporary basis is John Millacio, an employee of the State Penitentiary Department. Milliac is likely to serve on the board from Republican Party Jeanne Weber.
LaBarbier, 55, was elected to the township council in 2004 and served six years before Tedesco retired. LaBarbier defeated Republican Sam Casiello with 309 votes, 52% -48%. Two candidates for the republican council also won that year.
He was re-elected with 61% in 2014 and 61% in 2018.
Despite the city’s political competitiveness, the mayors of Paramus have little turnover. LaBarbier is only the fifth mayor since Lyndon B. Johnson was president.