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SPEZIALE STATEMENT ON REFUSAL TO SEEK COUNTY LINE

Slams Political Intimidation and “Fixed” County Party Screening Process


PATERSON, NJ — Passaic County Sheriff Candidate Jerry Speziale is issuing the following statement: 


“Speaking as a proud Democrat who was elected Sheriff three times running countywide as the Democratic Party’s candidate, I have made the difficult decision not to seek the county line in the June 4 Democratic Primary while I run to once again serve the people of Passaic County as their Sheriff. 


There are many reasons for my decision. First, I believe that the voters should pick the next Sheriff, not a handful of political insiders on a so-called screening committee. Let the people decide!


That’s why I am joining the growing number of Democrats throughout the state who believe that this entire county line preferred ballot system is unfair and should be discarded. All the current system does is take power away from the people and give it to party bosses and machine politicians. New Jersey is the only state that still uses this archaic system and it should be abolished. I will not participate in a screening process that is based on a rigged, unfair system.


Second, I also want all of my fellow Passaic County Democrats to know that it is clear that the county party’s intention is to allow an unelected party boss with no law enforcement experience to run the Sheriff’s Office. During one of several conversations we had about the campaign, Chairman John Currie told me he was imposing a ‘new structure’ where he would name the Undersheriffs and make all personnel and financial decisions within the department. Of course, I refused to even entertain this — any candidate who would agree to accept that kind of political interference would be unfit to serve as Sheriff. 


I have dedicated my life to fighting crime and protecting the equal rights of all people. I would never let myself be part of a corrupt system that empowers an unelected political boss to rule over a law enforcement agency. That’s not how it worked when I served three terms as Sheriff, and it will never happen if I am elected Sheriff again. 


It has been my honor to be an active member and strong supporter of the Passaic County Democratic Organization for decades. I personally campaigned for dozens of local, county, state and federal Democrats in office today and have raised funds and supported the party. My campaign has the unanimous support of the Passaic County Central Labor Council, the Passaic County Building Trades and many other unions that represent working men and women. They know that I will always be a proud, loyal Democrat who lives up to the values our party is based on. 


Together, we are going to win this election to keep the Sheriff’s Office independent of political interference and protect the people of Passaic County.”


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