Sources say Cumberland GOP chairman will quit

Sources say Cumberland GOP chairman will quit
Cumberland County GOP Chairman Douglas Sorantino, left, is expected to resign the post he took over last year when Larry Pepper, center, retired after 33 years. The leading candidate for the chairmanship is Bob Greco, right, who managed the GOP campaign in 2008.

After a bruising loss in November in which his party lost two constitutional officers and its last seat on the freeholder board, Cumberland County Republican Chairman Doug Sorantino is expected to step down from his post tomorrow.

Two Republican sources say Sorantino, a former freeholder who took over the party last year after 33-year reign of former chairman Larry Pepper, will likely be replaced by Bob Greco, a party activist who managed the Republican county campaigns last year.  Sorantino's name has already been removed from the Republican State Committee website.

Sorantino could not immediately be reached for comment. Greco said that he would leave it up to Sorantino to announce his own plans, but acknowledged that he is interested in taking over the post if there is an opening.

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Brown won't seek re-election as Passaic clerk

Brown won't seek re-election as Passaic clerk
Passaic County Clerk Karen Brown, left, announced today that she won't seek re-election to a second term. One possible replacement is West Paterson Council President Keith Kazmark.

Not surprising party brass and rank-and-filers who were preparing for a battle - just in case, Passaic County Clerk Karen Brown announced she will not run for reelection to a second term, informing Democratic Party supporters in a letter this morning.

“Serving as County Clerk has been a great privilege, and I thank all of my supporters for their confidence in my abilities.  Nonetheless, it is with mixed emotions that I announce my intention not to seek re-election as Passaic County Clerk,” wrote Brown, a Clifton lawyer who's originally from Paterson.


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Ex-labor commissioner/Codey advisor to start lobbying, political consulting firm

Ex-labor commissioner/Codey advisor to start lobbying, political consulting firm
Former Commissioner of Labor A.J. Sabath, left, with State Sen. Joseph Vitale (D-Woodbridge)

A.J. Sabath, a former state Commissioner of Labor and one of Trenton's most powerful insiders, will leave his post as Chief of Staff to Senate President Richard Codey on March 1 to open his own lobbying, government relations and communications firm.  Sabath will be providing political consulting and campaign services including direct mail, automated calls and earned media communications. 

Sabath has held a number of positions in both houses of the New Jersey Legislature, worked as public affairs director for MWW, a top public relations and lobbying firm, and was an organizer for the New Jersey Tenants Organization..  He spent two years, as an organizer for the National Democratic Institute in the former Soviet Republic of Azerbaijan. In addition to conducting democracy and governance training programs for political, civic and government organizations, he created an election monitoring panel of local officials that collected and publicized voter complaints of intimidation, inaccuracies, and fraud.

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Morning News Digest: February 17, 2009

Lonegan strategist sees Christie/Giuliani parallel

Lonegan strategist sees Christie/Giuliani parallel
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

The campaign of Republican candidate for Governor Steve Lonegan delights at what they see as the irony of former New York City Mayor (and unsuccessful 2008 presidential candidate) Rudy Giuliani endorsing GOP frontrunner Chris Christie.

“This Christie campaign is just a repeat of the Giuliani campaign in the sense that the candidate has total contempt for GOP Primary voters,” said Lonegan campaign strategist Rick Shaftan. “I can’t believe they didn’t learn from the Giuliani fiasco. It’s the same group of people, and they didn’t learn.”

Waging his presidential campaign last year, Giuliani as a matter of strategy decided to forego Iowa and New Hampshire to compete in the Super Tuesday states, only to lose vital television time, elude several weeks of buzz, and ultimately suffer a meltdown in Florida. 

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On the line if he doesn't win Saturday, DiMaio runs as the blue collar veteran

On the line if he doesn't win Saturday, DiMaio runs as the blue collar veteran
Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio

HACKETTSTOWN – Pro-life and pro-gun, Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio calls himself the most conservative candidate in the race for the vacant District 23 Assembly seat even though he started his political career in the opposing party. 

The president of A. DiMaio & Son, Inc., a general contracting company he co-founded in 1977, he came up the hard way, working in a family business that taught him early the value of a dollar and that honed his instincts for survival and self-sufficiency.

At 53 now, the Republican’s been around a little longer than his Hunterdon County competitors, Freeholder Matt Holt and Freeholder Erik Peterson, and he’s punched more time at the local level, having served 11 years on the Hackettstown council and then an additional nine years as mayor before winning a seat on the Warren County Freeholder Board.

He spent 14 of those years in Hackettstown as a Democrat, and not surprisingly in this increasingly competitive GOP terrain heading toward Saturday’s special convention, that’s the first fact about DiMaio’s background his opponents’ surrogates highlight in casual conversation.

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Vowing to run again, Oglesby attempts to fend off another critic in Gloucester

Vowing to run again, Oglesby attempts to fend off another critic in Gloucester
Gloucester GOP Chair Loran Oglesby

As Gloucester County Republican Chair Loran Oglesby called for a cease fire, Elk Township municipal Chairman Ed Pearson threw his name into the mix of former candidates and elected officials calling on the embattled chairwoman to step down. 

"For the life of me I can't figure out why she is holding on," Pearson said. "I am not calling on her to step down for the unflattering remarks she made about one of our winning candidates last year, I'm calling on her to resign because that is what is best for our party. We need a proven leader and a proven winner to step in as our next party leader."

For Oglesby, the trouble flared when former  candidates Larry Wallace and Phyllis Scapellato - buried last year in their respective freeholder bids - called into question the chair's election year leadership.  

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Peterson possesses legal background, Lance connection, in 23rd District scrap

Peterson possesses legal background, Lance connection, in 23rd District scrap
Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson

FRANKLIN – If politics inevitably involves relationships, Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson has a good one in U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton).

Not only did Lance serve as best man at Peterson’s wedding, but he’s the godfather of Peterson’s son. Those connections are not insignificant in the budding career of the 42-year old Franklin Township politician, especially considering Lance’s solidification as the darling venerable statesman of Hunterdon County last year when he thrashed Linda Stender in their 7th District Congressional contest.

From his perch in the U.S. Congress now, Lance isn’t exactly seizing handfuls of glossy campaign literature and making triumphal rounds in a Republican special election and indeed sources say he's hardly been visible, but, Peterson assures, “He’s helping me.”

He won’t elaborate. But any kind of “help” from Lance presumably can’t hurt in Hunterdon. 

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The Back Room

Newark state correction officer sentenced to prison for drug trafficking

A former senior state correction officer from Newark was sentenced to prison today for trafficking 22 kilograms of cocaine from Texas to New Jersey, according to acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 20th

Bergen County Exec's race: Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich sees Bridgegate investigations as potential election catalyst FORT LEE - Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was the emcee of Tuesday's meet-and-greet event at the Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center in his Bergen County borough, introducing U.S. Sen. Cory Booker...

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Simplify Pay-to-Play with one state law

By Jeff Brindle A lone PAC contribution to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson’s campaign highlights the need for pay-to-play reform in New Jersey. During the recent mayoralty election in Trenton, newly elected Mayor Eric Jackson received an $8,200 campaign... Read More >


(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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 »

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