By desnuda | November 29th, 2005 - 3:55pm
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29-year-old Daniel Benson, who gave up his seat on the Hamilton Township Council to run for the State Assembly, will not seek an appointment to fill a vacant Council seat. The onetime rising star, who finished a surprising fourth in Hamilton, will take some time before resurrecting his political career. Benson says he will concentrate on his duties as Democratic Municipal Chairman to hold the Council seat recently vacated by Chuck Plumeri in a November 2006 Special Election. Benson also says he won't run for Council in 2007, though he reportedly hasn't ruled out running for another office. Democratic insiders say the top candidates to replace Plumeri, who is moving out of state, include: John Cimino, the son of former Assemblyman Anthony "Skip" Cimino; Tom Walls, who lost a bid for Council last month; and Wendy Sturgeon, a Hamilton School Board member.

Benson ran 9,000 votes behind Republican Bill Baroni in Hamilton, and trailed the two Middlesex County candidates, Republican Mike Paquette and Democrat Linda Greenstein, by 4,000 votes. Republicans won control of the Hamilton Township Council in the '05 election.

The defeat of Benson and the loss of three Democratic Council seats is bad news for another rising star, Mayor Glen Gilmore, who has been mentioned for higher office since his election in 1999. Few Democrats now believe Gilmore, who won re-election in 2003 with just 52% despite a lopsided warchest, can beat State Senator Peter Inverso or Baroni in 2007, and the recent trend of Hamilton toward the GOP is likely to mean a tough re-election battle for Gilmore in two years. One possible candidate for Mayor is Catherine DiCostanzo, who lost her bid for re-election as County Clerk by less than 200 votes countywide; her margin in Hamilton was over 7,000.

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 23rd

Sources: pen/ben debacle going back to 2011 worsens Newark's woes They already knew the financial situation was bad in Newark - but it turns out it’s worse. In a conversation with the front office this morning in Trenton, Newark lawmakers expressed worry about the state’s relative sparse offering of...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Enlisting Fox is another reminder of how much Christie has truly relied on insiders, including Democrats, to bolster his agenda or bail him out of trouble. Not long after arriving in Trenton in 2009, Christie began collaborating with George Norcross, the deeply entrenched Democratic Party kingmaker, to help him cut deals with a Democratic-controlled Legislature.
When his close ally David Samson resigned as chairman of the Port Authority over conflict-of-interest questions earlier this year, Christie replaced Samson with John Degnan, a pillar of the Democratic Party establishment. And now, confronted with a crisis, Christie has turned to “Jamie,’’ as Fox has been known throughout political circles since he began as an aide in the Democratic Senate in the 1980s." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record

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