Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Saudino Supports Tedesco, but Only Briefly

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Saudino Supports Tedesco, but Only Briefly

Article excerpt

The race for Bergen County Executive took some strange turns over the past few days, after Sheriff Michael Saudino, a Republican, briefly endorsed Democratic candidate and Freeholder James Tedesco on Saturday, but then withdrew his support on Monday.

Saudino's short-lived endorsement was captured on videotape and posted on BergenDispatch.com, a Democratic-leaning website.

On the tape, Saudino is seen talking during a labor campaign event at the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 164 hall in Paramus. After thanking the group for its support in his last campaign, he told them:

"I'm here to tell you as a Republican that the Democratic candidate Jim Tedesco that you picked is the right man for the job."

Saudino then talked about his conflicts with Republican County Executive Kathleen Donovan over the contract he negotiated with the union representing his officers. When finished, Tedesco gave Saudino a hug.

By Monday, however, Saudino was backing away from his remarks.

"In no way were my comments intended to be a public endorsement of any candidates for office this year," he said in a prepared statement.

"Regrettably, after watching a video of my comments, it is clear there is no other way to interpret it," he added. "It was a mistake and for that I apologize."

County Republican Chairman Bob Yudin said he interpreted the video to also be an endorsement by Saudino of Democratic Freeholders Joan Voss and David Ganz on the video. They are opposed by GOP freeholder candidates Bernadette Walsh and Robert Avery.

Saudino mentions Voss and Ganz and cites their support in the contract dispute with Donovan.

"You picked the right people," he said on the video.

Yudin said he spoke with Saudino on Monday and was glad to hear him admit that his comments were a mistake.

"I'm delighted the sheriff has withdrawn the endorsement of the Democratic slate," he said.

Tedesco said he never asked Saudino for a public endorsement. …

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