Pio Costa likely to run again in 36th District

MINNEAPOLIS - Nutley businessman Carmen Pio Costa said he’s definitely considering another run for Assembly in the 36th Legislative District next year.

"I’m just seeing how things play out in the party right now," said Pio Costa, 29, who in 2007 lost by 2,400 votes in his shot against Democratic Assemblymen Fred Scalera (D-Nutley) and Gary Schaer (D-Passaic).

"I was very pleased with our result last time, especially considering our late entry into the game," said Pio Costa, speaking in a telephone interview with PolitickerNJ.com. "I would like to run with the benefit of the experience I received from running last time."

Read More >

Cabana will run for Assembly seat in 25th, but only if Murphy doesn't

MINNEAPOLIS - Morris County Freeholder Doug Cabana of Boonton said he intends to run for the Assembly in the 25th District now that Richard Merkt announced his decision not to pursue re-election next year in favor of a gubernatorial bid.

"I’ve been getting quite a few emails in the district from people saying it’s your turn to go," Cabana told PolitickerNJ.com. "I called Richard Merkt to verify that he was in fact not running, and he’s not going to run, so I am."

Cabana’s designs on the seat mean the GOP primary next year could be a showdown between the 11-year freeholder veteran and Tony Bucco, Jr., son of state Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Morris), and Cabana's brother-in-law.

Cabana has no qualms about going against the younger Bucco - who’s never held elected office.

But he said he doesn’t want to run against fellow Freeholder John Murphy, who has not decided whether he intends to run for the Assembly seat, according to Cabana.

Read More >

Sharpton drops in on New Jersey delegation

The Rev. Al Sharpton at the Hilton: Politicker photoThe Rev. Al Sharpton at the Hilton: Politicker photo 

MINNEAPOLIS - The front doors to the Hilton Hotel just slid open and the Rev. Al Sharpton walked in, nearly colliding with former Gov. Thomas Kean.

The two men went with a big, warm handshake before they kept going in opposite directions.

"I was just participating with Newt Gingrich in a bi-partisan forum," said the veteran civil rights activist and 2004 Democratic presidential candidate. "I stopped by the hotel to get something to eat."

Read More >

With hurricane over, Zimmer and Wilson let loose on Lautenberg

Republicans yesterday held their fire on the Democratic Party while Hurricane Gustav bore down on the Gulf Coast. But now, with damage from the Hurricane apparently less than feared, Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson and Senate candidate Dick Zimmer let loose on incumbent Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg.

Introducing Zimmer to speak at the delegation breakfast this morning, Wilson took a shot at Lautenberg on rumors that he spends most of his time in Manhattan rather than his Cliffside Park condo.

“For 25 years, Frank Lautenberg has left his apartment in Manhattan and gone to Washington to represent New Jersey. And in those 25 years, he’s got three things to show for it: a train station with no parking, no smoking on airplanes and a 21-year-old drinking age. Two of those things happened when Ronald Reagan was president,” he said. “And since then, Frank Lautenberg has just been along for a ride.”

Read More >

Bucco to run for 25th District Assembly seat

MINNEAPOLIS - Republican Tony Bucco Jr. issued a release this afternoon announcing that he is running for the Assembly in the 25th District, where Assemblyman Rick Merkt plans to vacate his seat at the end of his term next year in order to run for governor.

Son of Sen. Tony Bucco (R-Morris), who serves as senator in the 25th, the candidate said, "I am running on my record of over 25 years of volunteer public service. I promise to always fight for the taxpayers, families and seniors of the 25th District and provide the best constituent services here at home.

"Our more immediate focus though, must be on coming together as a party and electing John McCain as President and re-electing Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen, County Clerk Joan Bramhall, Morris County Freeholder Margaret Nordstrom this November and all our local elected officials," Bucco added.

Read More >

DeCroce sounds off on next year's Assembly races

BLOOMINGTON, Minn. -- To hear Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce tell it, Legislative District 14 will be a major battleground in next year’s assembly races.

That’s where State Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton) heads a district with two Democrats lower down in the Assembly, eight year veteran Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) and the newly elected Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton).

DeAngelo, beause he’s been in office less than a year, is the obvious target. But DeCroce, who wasn’t specific about who he’d like to recruit to run, said he’s gunning for Greenstein as well.

“Linda’s a nice lady, but I think her voting record leaves something to be desired, frankly, and I think it’s time for a change,” he said. “Obviously Linda would be the tougher one, being a lady too and a nice person. It’s not easy, but you have to show there’s a difference between the candidates and the incumbent, and the issues are going to be on our side.”

Read More >

Romney guys fall in line behind McCain/Palin

Jeff Booker, left, and state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth).: Politicker photoJeff Booker, left, and state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Monmouth).: Politicker photo 

MINNEAPOLIS - They’re not overjoyed with Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, but former Mitt Romney for president supporters last week gulped down Sen. John McCain’s (R-Ariz) veep pick and closed ranks behind their party’s nominee.

That’s not to say they don’t hang with one another in the halls of the Hilton, where the GOP delegation is staying.

This morning, state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Monmouth), who served as Romney’s state campaign chair; former Camden County GOP Executive Director Jeff Booker, and former Paterson Mayor Pat Kramer, exited the breakfast hall as a threesome.

Read More >

For New Jersey cartoonists, the best view of the convention is from behind their drafting table

A convention cartoon by Jimmy Margulies, editorial cartoonist for The Record.: (www.northjersey.com)A convention cartoon by Jimmy Margulies, editorial cartoonist for The Record.: (www.northjersey.com)Several cartoonists from throughout the country converged upon the Democratic National Convention last week in Denver, and many more will attend this week's Republican National Convention in Minneapolis.

But their New Jersey comrades won't be joining them.

Read More >

The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 23, 2014

Colorado politicians invite Christie to experience 'Rocky Mountain High'Colorado politicians slapped back at Gov. Chris Christie after he questioned their Rocky Mountain quality of life under the rule of legalized marijuana.“Whether it’s hiking season or snow season, we invite Gov. Christie to experience Colorado’s quality of life anytime,"  Sen....

Sign up for the Wake Up Call

Get the latest New Jersey politics headlines delivered right to your inbox, every morning. Sign up for the PolitickerNJ Wake Up Call.


How the City of Paterson became a city in crisis

By HAYTHAM YOUNES As the May 13th election for Paterson officials nears, I've noticed a lot of candidates running using slogans and empty promises as if they weren't around watching Paterson get to where it's at today. I think it's important that... Read More >


(4-23-14) Bridgegate Witnesses Not "RATS" if Testimony is Forced -Superior Court Judge Mary Jacobson’s decision last week was covered in most newspapers and blogs as an affirmation of the... more »
(Absecon Island, NJ) --With his shocking win in last year's election, Atlantic City Mayor Don Guardian emerged as one of the most intriguing figures in the New Jersey political... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

“The good news of tonight is that these problems are fixable.” - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ.com


Who would you back for Governor of NJ in this 2017 general election dream match-up?:


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.