It was soon after Tuesday's municipal election results were official, and the Column A ticket that featured Marino and Scannavino among its five candidates was soundly trounced by the incumbent ticket featuring three-term Mayor Nicholas Sacco.
When Scannavino and Marino entered the room, they were greeted by rousing applause and cheers. Marino stopped and uttered the line of the evening.
"Didn't you guys know we lost?" the former deputy police director said.
A little more than two hours earlier, the opposing ticket truly believed that they had accomplished the impossible - actually toppling the powerful and popular Mayor Nicholas Sacco and his colleagues.
"At 7:15 p.m., two big-time Sacco supporters walked by me and said, 'I think you got it,' "Scannavino said. "They really thought they lost. These were two very active supporters who told me that they thought they were in trouble."
In fact, it was quite the opposite, as Sacco rolled to a fourth term as mayor, winning by a hearty 3-to-1 margin. While Sacco's followers were celebrating at Schuetzen Park, the Column A ticket scratched their heads, wondering what in the world happened.
"I truly expected to win," Scannavino said. "People were telling me since August that they were going to vote for us if we ran, that they wanted a change, that they wanted him [Sacco] out. Everyone I talked to said, 'Bo, we want you.' And I was beginning to believe it. Sure, this is disappointing."
"I'm a little disappointed," Marino said. "We worked hard. The issues were out there. I can't figure out what happened. Obviously, he has the machine and the power. He's been there for 18 years. I really felt optimistic this morning. I thought it was going to be a tight race. I guess I was wrong."
Scannavino seems to believe that the poor turnout did them in. Only 11,500 of North Bergen's 27,583 registered voters came out to the polls Tuesday, roughly 40 percent of all eligible voters.
"It's a sad day," Scannavino said. "The fault lies with the 15,000 people who didn't come out to vote. I guess this is what they wanted, four more years of Sacco. I can't believe that the people didn't come out to vote. If you can get those 15,000, it's a totally different story. Why they didn't come out? It's beyond me. But I went around, knocking on door after door, and people told me they were voting and voting for me. Where did they go?"
Scannavino actually knew that things weren't looking good when his supporters at the polling booths were reporting a low turnout.
"I knew I was in trouble earlier," Scannavino said. "I didn't want to say anything to anyone, but when I figured that we'd get a turnout of 12,000, I didn't think it would cut it. I only felt some optimism when those Sacco people told me I had it. But when the numbers were coming in low, I knew it wasn't enough."
Added Scannavino, "People want to complain about Sacco and said they wanted a change. But if they don't bother to come out, then how can they bellyache?"
Scannavino said that he was hoping for a better turnout from tenants [which is why tenant activist Marissa Suarez was on the ticket] and from Hispanics.
"If we get 50 percent of those voters to come out, the election is over," Scannavino said. "If the people who were behind Marissa come out, we're in."
Marino thinks that perhaps the weather was a deterrent Tuesday.
"I think the weather had to play a little part," Marino said. "There was some rain, so that might have kept some people away, like the seniors."
The other members of the ticket were equally disappointed.
"I worked every day, every night," said candidate Denis Jaslow. "We tried hard. People just didn't see what we were doing. It's very disappointing. I never had a feeling that we were in trouble and I never expected this. I was optimistic throughout the day that people wanted a change. It's really sad."
Scannavino vowed that he will continue to fight the Sacco regime.
"There's a primary in June and an election in November," said Scannavino, alluding to the State Senate race that Sacco will seek re-election for. "We're going to keep our chins up and keep going. I'm going to be out there against him. We still have to find people who want to make North Bergen a better place, then make sure those people come out to vote."
Sacco knew that the victory wouldn't deter his biggest adversaries.
"I knew they would have some sense of bravado," Sacco said. "That's how they are. I don't think they'll ever go away. It doesn't matter. I know what the people want and they don't want them."
Meanwhile, Marino isn't so sure of his future. He knows that he will continue as the volunteer director of the Police Activity League, but as for politics, he's unsure.
"I have to think about that one," Marino said. "I have seven grandchildren that I can devote my time to. I don't know what I'm going to do. I'll mull it over."
Marino didn't waste any time moving on.
"I have a 6 a.m. flight tomorrow [Wednesday] to go to play golf in Myrtle Beach with my sons," Marino said. Even in the face of defeat, some things are a priority.