Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Generators Spur Challenge of Mayor

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Generators Spur Challenge of Mayor

Article excerpt

NORTH HALEDON -- Before Randy George borrowed borough generators in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, Councilman Bob Dyer wouldn't have considered running against the popular four-term mayor, who stood unopposed for reelection in the last two elections.

"There's no question about it," he said.

But now, Dyer said, he's gathering signatures to run for mayor in November as an independent. A fellow Republican who clashed with George over the generator issue and supported two Democrats in their successful bids for council in November, Dyer would become the third candidate to challenge George.

Michael Jordan, the Board of Education president, is running in the Republican primary. Democrats are putting up Dennis Marco, who was elected to the council last year.

But as a 15-year councilman, Dyer could present George's most serious challenge since he was first elected mayor in 1998. George secured a narrow 1,659 to 1,556 win in that election. In 2002, he crushed his Democratic opponent, Anthony De Nova, by a 3-1 ratio, and he hasn't faced a challenger since. De Nova is now the Passaic County administrator.

George's use of borough generators in the days after Sandy to power his ice cream parlor on High Mountain Road -- something he calls "a mistake" and for which he has apologized -- has made him vulnerable, opponents say, pointing to the rare election of two Democrats to the council in November. They became the first Democrats to win a council election since 1999.

"Does it help him? Absolutely not," Dyer said of the generator issue.

Dyer said the controversy has damaged his relationship with George. He spoke out against the mayor's actions before the municipal investigative committee began its work. As a result, he was excluded from the committee. "That put a further strain on it," Dyer said, suggesting George had a hand in his removal. …

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