Woodcliff Lake Mayor Carlos Rando, the 2017 GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, will be campaigning in the GOP primary after his nominating petitions fell short of 11 of the 25 signatures needed to to get on the ballot.

Rando will now need a majority of write-in votes – and at least 25 of them – to secure a third term.

“We are confident that we will go to the elections,” he said. “This is a write-in vote-by-mail opportunity. We are going to reach out to as many Republicans as possible to convert them to VBM.”

This time, Rendo is unlikely to rely on others to gather votes after volunteers failed to collect the signatures he had promised.

Rando was re-elected by twelve points in 2019 against Jacqueline Gadaleta. This year, Democrats are nominating Nancy Gross, a former council member, for mayor.

Woodcliff Lake, one of the Republican strongholds, has become a swing town. In 2021, Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy won by 33 votes, while Republican Sen. Holly Schepizzi won Woodcliff Lake by 123 votes. Last year, Rep. Josh Gottheimer, a Democrat, won 57% of the vote in Woodcliff Lake.

Democrats have a 6-0 majority on the borough council. Incumbent Richard Schnoll is seeking re-election, as is newcomer Jared Shapiro. Democrat Josephine Higgins, a former mayor, is not seeking re-election to the council.

Candidates for republican councils also did not pass the election. Julie Brodsky and Joshua Stern will also run as write-in candidates.

Renda was chosen by Republican gubernatorial candidate Kim Guadagno as her running mate in 2017. Through no fault of her own, Randa Guadagno lost to Murphy by fourteen points.

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