Bergen County GOP Chairman Bob Yudin and County Executive Kathleen Donovan put their differences aside and held a unity rally on December 17. Despite their past sniping at one another, they each endorsed the other for new terms at their respective jobs.
The two assured attendees that this was not just a temporary détente, but a permanent arrangement. Their relationship had been strained, and the November elections didn’t help matters. Yudin blamed Donovan for the loss of a Republican freeholder seat to James Tedesco, a Democrat.
Past difficulties aside, the two individuals, both of whom are extremely important in the county’s GOP structure, acknowledged that they needed to be united in a county where registered Democrats outnumber registered Republicans by 13%. “This has been something that needed to be done,” Yudin said. “The unity of our party in Bergen County is paramount above all. There is so much at stake this November.”
After Yudin complimented Donovan on her forthrightness, helpfulness and cooperation, she took the stage and made sure, with some of that forthrightness, that the audience knew where the party stood. “I know that some of you are here tonight with a little bit of a skeptical eye. So the question is: Is this real? The answer: Yes, it is real,” Donovan said.
The announced unity doesn’t mean the two will agree on everything. Donovan mentioned that she had read that when her predecessor was County Executive, there were 10,000 freeholder votes with no argument. “That can never happen again. That is not debate. That is not good government. You cannot tell me that seven thinking people agree all the time,” Donovan said, before turning from the audience to face Yudin. “That’s never happened with us, huh Bob,” she asked.
The two have disagreements often, but believe that those disagreements and the debate and dialogue that follow are critical for good government. “The people of Bergen County deserve more and Bob and I agree that we can deliver more,” Donovan said.
At the end of the rally, attendees were asked to show support for the party going forward as the anticipated race in 2014 will be a tough one.
By Aliza Chasan