Essex County honors Booker

Essex County honors Booker
Newark Mayor Cory Booker

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo today honored Newark Mayor Cory Booker as Essex County's "Black Man of the Year” at the Essex County Hall of Records.

The ceremony featured a typically rousing acceptance speech by Booker, a local level punctuation mark on President Barack Obama’s oratorical efforts at the national level last night to uplift the country’s spirits in a flagging economy.

Longtime allies who find themselves on opposing sides of local wars at times, but more often in the same encampment, DiVincenzo and Booker both face crises in their respective domains, as the former battles local union reps in search of an agreement for county workers, while the latter fights a crime wave in the City of Newark.

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Passaic County Republican group fields candidates to run in Paterson-dominated district

A Passaic County Republican group has fielded a slate of two assembly candidates to run in the heavily Democratic 35th Legislative District.

The group, called GOP Strong – a rival to the county’s establishment Republican organization -- picked Lynne Anne Shortway, a 28-year-old teacher from Hawthorne whose family has long been active north Jersey Republican politics, and North Haledon community activist George Sawey.

“We are excited to have these two great candidates represent GOP Strong and the Republican Party,” said GOP Strong leader Mike Ramaglia. “This is just another indication that our organization is growing and attracting more and more supporters.”

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Casagrande welcomes Christie to Colts Neck

Casagrande welcomes Christie to Colts Neck
Chris Christie

After leaving Essex County on Tuesday night, GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie drove to Monmouth County, where he stood beside Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Colts Neck) at a private home fundraiser in Colts Neck.

About 100 people attended the event.

Casagrande’s running mate, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) had a fundraiser of his own last week as the two 12th District Republican lawmakers prepare for the possibility of Democrats running candidates against them in the 2009 general election. 

So far, the Democrats do not appear to have coalesced around a pair of challengers here in the 12th – a battleground in the 2007 election as state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank) toppled Dick Codey-backed Democrat Ellen Karcher despite being outspent over 5-1. 

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Long shot Democrat files for to run against DeCroce and Webber

Democrat Wayne Marek is seeking a rematch against Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) and Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) in the 26th Legislative District.

Marek announced today that he filed his nominating petitions for assembly in the solidly Republican district, as well as for the Morris Plains School Board.  Since the elections are held on different dates, Marek can run for both. 

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Funeral services on Monday for father of Jamie Fox

Funeral services for Edward "Buzzy" Fox, the father of former Commissioner of Transportation Jamie Fox, will be held on Monday March 2 at 10AM at St. Genevieve R.C. Church in Elizabeth.  A viewing will be held on Sunday, March 1 from 2-4 PM and from 7-9 PM at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home in Westfield.  Fox passed away on Monday at age 85.

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Morning News Digest: February 25, 2009

Essex GOP backs Christie for Governor

Essex GOP backs Christie for Governor
Chris Christie, pictured with wife Mary Pat earlier this month in Somerset County.

CEDAR GROVE - GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie this evening secured the backing of the Essex County Republican Commitee after participating in a screening here with fellow candidates, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine.

A fourth gubernatorial candidate, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), did not screen, as he is out of the state on business.  

Cedar Grove toes the north end of Essex with its own Jersey spangle of Italian restaurants, VFW Hall, fire, police, shopping center, town hall, diner, Irish taverns, highway overpass, train tracks, more restaurants and bars, blending equal parts Italian and Irish with the business district edge to Italian cuisine, but the Irish colors everywhere. 

This is the domain of state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove), Essex County’s sole Republican legislator, chair of the Essex County Republican Party, and perennial antagonist of Senate President Richard Codey (D-West Orange), who lives just south of here. 

“It’s the little red corner of the county where I’m allowed,” cracked Rick Shaftan, Lonegan’s campaign strategist, as he pulled up to the banquet hall behind the wheel of a sedan in a county where Democrats own a more than 4-1 edge over the GOP.  

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Gussen withdraws from challenge to Huttle and Johnson

Teaneck Councilman Adam Gussen, who last week filed papers with the Bergen County Democratic Organization to run against Assembly members Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Fair Lawn), has withdrawn.

“Though I have no doubt of my potential for success in this race, I truly understand the need for a strong and united Bergen County Democratic Organization,” Gussen said in a statement. “I want to thank those who encouraged me to run and let them know that their support was greatly appreciated.  I can not rule out future runs for the Legislature.”

Gussen’s challenge was not welcome by BCDO Chairman Michael Kasparian, who as a good will gesture last month stated that he would not field a challenge against the incumbents, who are aligned the Real Bergen Democrats -- a group of reformers that has traditionally been at odds with the larger county party and its indicted former chairman, Joe Ferriero.

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The Back Room

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...

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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 >


(Trenton, NJ) --  On September 23, 2015 I shall dig this up and eat whatever crow I've got coming, but in the meantime only a listicle... more »
Sports and politics do mix: Welcome the next NFL Commissioner, Condi Rice          There are many sports fans who insist on believing that old bromide that sports and politics do... more »
(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

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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