A long list of politicos and members of law enforcement from North Jersey came out to the Venetian catering hall last night to support Hudson County Sheriff Frank Schillari as he seeks his third term.
“Sheriff, I want you to understand that all of North Jersey is here for you, we can’t thank you enough for the way you conduct yourself in such a professional manner,” said Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Lou Stellato.
“I want to thank you for what you do as you protect and serve the people of Hudson, you work in concert with Passaic and Bergen, you’re a true professional.”
Stellato was joined at his table by Statewide/Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie, who took the podium next to praise the job Schillari has done since he was elected in 2010.
“Tonight we’re here to celebrate a great man, who’s doing a great job, and of course, all of this starts with public safety,” Currie exclaimed.
“And Frank, as well as [Bergen County] Sheriff [Michael] Saudino and [Passaic County] Sheriff [Richard] Berdnik, we will be fighting for all public employees and continue to fight for you and your welfare as long as we’ve got breath in our bodies.”
As has become par for the course whenever Stellato and Currie are in the room, Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), also the Hudson County Democratic Organization Chairman, gave remarks endorsing his fellow Secaucus native.
“Frank Schillari is from my home town, so I’m especially proud of him, what he has done. He’s going for his third term. And he has brought professionalism to the job, he has 12 mayors he actually works with, and in conjunction, he gives them service.”
“And law and public safety for me, as each and every one of you know, I take it very serious.”
A major part of the reason Prieto was ensnared in a political battle of the ages with state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and Gov. Chris Christie (R) was because he would not allow collective bargaining agreements in Atlantic City – such as those for firefighters and police – to be broken.
North Bergen Mayor/state Senator Nick Sacco (D-32), who played a major role in getting Schillari appointed as an undersheriff in 1997, took Prieto’s lead in praising Schillari for seeking an unprecedented third term with the full support of the party.
“A number of years ago, we had a man by the name of our dear sheriff, and he wanted to become sheriff earned this position and the mayors unanimously decided he would be the one to run,” Sacco recalled.
“But running once is one thing … you have to earn, you have to earn all the respect of the other mayors in Hudson County to get re-elected. And he did. And now, in an unprecedented situation, he’s on his way to a third term.”
Schillari thanked the hundreds in attendance for all their support, also telling everyone in attendance not to forget about our veterans with Memorial Day right around the corner.
The 20-year veteran of the department does not have much opposition ahead of the June 7th Democratic primary, as only Juan Espinal and Moses Espinal (no relation) have their names on the ballot and neither have secured any key endorsements ahead of the race.
Political operative Joey Muniz served as the emcee for the evening.
The many dignitaries in attendance also included Hudson County Undersheriffs Andrew Conti and Bruce Lamparello, Hoboken Police Chief Kenneth Ferrante, West New York Police Director Robert Antolos, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Kearny Mayor Al Santos, Harrison Mayor James Fife, Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Assemblyman Nick Chiaravalloti (D-31, Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-33), Hoboken Councilman-at-Large Ravi Bhalla, Freeholders Anthony Romano (D-5) and Anthony Vainieri (D-8) – among many more.