Inverso considering comeback in 14th
By Darryl R. Isherwood | February 21st, 2013 - 4:17pm
| More

Former Republican State Sen. Peter Inverso, who held the Senate seat in the 14th District for 16 years, is considering a comeback.

In an interview Thursday, Inverso said he has been approached by Senate leadership about a potential challenge to Democratic state Sen. Linda Greenstein.

"There are a number of factors to think about," Inverso said.  "But I'm definitely considering it."

Inverso, who recently announced his retirement as president of Roma Bank, was a popular senator up until his retirement in 2008 and was part of the vaunted old guard of Hamilton Republicans who served in the state Legislature that included former Assemblymen Jack Rafferty and Paul Kramer.

During his tenure he was the prime sponsor of Megan's Law, the sex offender registry law named after Megan Kanka, a little Hamilton girl who was murdered by a twice-convicted sex offender who lived across the street.

Upon Inverso's retirement, former Assemblyman Bill Baroni ran for the seat and won, serving just over two years of the term before being tapped by Gov. Chris Christie to take over as deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.

Hamilton resident Tom Goodwin took over the seat from Baroni, but was defeated by Greenstein in his bid for a full term.

The district has changed since Inverso's exit with not only a new configuration but a largely different dynamic owing to the troubled relationship between the governor and the state employees who call Hamilton home.

An overhaul of the state pension and benefits program spearheaded by Christie and Senate President Steve Sweeney was wildly unpopular with the public worker unions, who have been outspoken against Republicans, in particular the governor, as well as any Democrat who voted in favor of the measures.

Hamilton Township also has been rife with turmoil owing to the arrest and subsequent conviction of former Mayor John Bencivengo on corruption charges stemming from bribes he took in exchange for helping an insurance broker maintain a contract with the Hamilton School Board.  Other members of Bencivengo's administration were implicated as were members of the school board.

The district became marginally more GOP friendly during the last round of redistricting, however, the additional Republican votes were of little help to Republican Richard Kanka, who challenged Greenstein in 2011 and lost.

The addition of Inverso to the ticket would likely put the 14th at the top of the list of competitive districts in the state and make it a prime target for the state GOP.  But Greenstein is not to be taken lightly as she has knocked off a half dozen competitive candidates during her tenure first in the Assembly and then in the Senate.

Both Goodwin and Kanka were popular Hamiltonians with high name recognition and she dispatched both in the span of a year.

The Back Room

Christie takes state helicopter to campaign in Connecticut

Gov. Chris Christie took the "upper level" -- helicoptering over the George Washington Bridge -- to beat rush hour traffic from his home state to a recent GOP fundraiser with Connecticut gubernatorial contender Tom Foley, according to a Hearst Media report.

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 24th

  Of friends, enemies, transactions and transportation: the evolving political relationship of Bob Menendez and Steve Fulop The image yesterday in Washington D.C. of powerful U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) walking the hallways with Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop sent a signal of Menendez’s willingness to get behind...

Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

Poll

Which contest are you most focused on this coming season?:

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources