Quijano narrowly wins Cohen seat

Quijano narrowly wins Cohen seat

MOUNTAINSIDE -- Attorney Annette Quijano came to the Union County Democratic Committee’s special election tonight as the party leaders’ favorite to replace former Assemblyman Neil Cohen in District 20, but Elizabeth Councilwoman Patricia Perkins-Auguste put up a serious fight.

Quijano, 46, an assistant counsel to Gov. Corzine, bested Perkins-Auguste 87-82 in a vote by county committee members from the legislative district’s four towns: Elizabeth, Kenilworth, Roselle and Union. It’s the first time a minority will fill a seat in the district, which despite having a minority-majority population, has long been represented by three white men.

Quijano’s term begins immediately. She replaces former Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who resigned from his seat amid allegations that he possessed child pornography on his legislative office computer. She will have to run again against a Republican in November to hold the seat, although the district’s registration breakdown makes her a near shoe-in.

Perkins-Auguste and Quijano both gave speeches in front of the committee members, but although members were voting to send a new legislator to Trenton, the meeting was closed to the press and general public.

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Pascrell would likely run for gov if Corzine didn't, says Dems must hold Christie accountable

U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8), right, with U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).: Politicker file photoU.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-8), right, with U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).: Politicker file photo 

On a regular basis now, Gov. Jon Corzine reminds audiences that he’s running for re-election. If he doesn’t end up running for whatever reason, U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) says he wouldn’t mind personally stepping into the breach.

But whoever ends up out there on the barricade facing the GOP in a statewide race, Pascrell said his party should not fear likely Republican candidate U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, whom Quinnipiac University last week listed one point above the governor in a statistical tie - 41% to 40%.

Of his own gubernatorial run, "I would think about it very seriously," Pascrell said. "Right now I’m supporting the governor and I would urge him to run for re-election.

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Governor '09: Two polls in seven days

Last week, the non-partisan Quinnipiac University Polling Institute showed a hypothetical 2009 gubernatorial race in a dead heat, with U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie leading Gov. Jon Corzine by just one point - 41%-40% -- well within that poll's plus or minus 2.5% margin of error. But a new Zogby International poll released today, conducted for Garden State Equality, shows Corzine with nine point lead over Christie.

Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson said the numbers show today's poll slightly skewered towards Democrats. As of June 3rd - after a huge influx of new Democratic registrants for the February presidential primary and, to a lesser extent, Republican ones -- New Jersey had 1.68 million registered Democrats, 1.03 million registered Republicans and 2.23 unaffiliated/independent voters. The poll's sample group was made up of 331 Democrats, 226 Republicans and only 246 independent/unaffiliated voters.

"We know in New Jersey that's not exactly how the makeup goes," said Wilson.

Still, Wilson said, the poll shows troubling numbers for Corzine.

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DiVincenzo would 'possibly' run for governor, but only if Corzine doesn't

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo: Politicker photoEssex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo: Politicker photo

NEWARK - Joseph DiVincenzo knows the joke is coming, and he fields it with a grin - the one broadcaster Steve Adubato, Jr., has delivered for years about how DiVincenzo tried out for more than a half dozen NFL teams and got cut by every one of them.

The fact that Brett Favre is now taking snaps for the Jets sets up Adubato’s new punch line.

"He’s even older than Joe D," Adubato cracks and the roomful of politicians at the Breakers laughs, and DiVincenzo a moment later stands at the microphone, giving a nod to Essex County Democratic Chairman Phil Thigpen, who’s out there in the audience somewhere.

"I’m with Phil Thigpen, not Steve Adubato," DiVincenzo says, a playful poke at his leader, the junior Adubato’s father, who tried to oust Thigpen as chairman earlier this year but ran into a public objection by DiVincenzo, who wanted Thigpen to remain as chair.

DiVincenzo prevailed.

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Voters to Corzine: if Obama offers you a job, take it!

Voters to Corzine: if Obama offers you a job, take it!

If Barack Obama wins the presidency and offers Gov. Jon Corzine a post in his new administration, New Jerseyans want Corzine to take the job, according to a Zogby International poll released earlier today.

Among likely voters, 46% want Corzine to resign as Governor and join an Obama administration, while 33% say he should decline and stay on as Governor. Among Democrats, 45% say he should leave, and 36% want him to stay.

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Thigpen brings Democratic forces together at Pal's

WEST ORANGE - Essex County Democratic Party Chairman Phil Thigpen, Gov. Jon Corzine and fellow party members huddled up in Pal’s Cabin this morning in a show of party unity as Team Essex heads into Denver in support of Sen. Barack Obama (D-Il).

This is the second time in as many weeks that Corzine has gone to Pal’s to help focus party members on getting Obama elected president. Last week the governor met with members of the Group, the chief fundraising arm for Sen. Hillary Clinton, which is now committed to Obama.

"This one was much more about elected officials and the county party apparatus," said Mark Alexander, senior advisor for the Obama campaign. "There were town chairmen and women, all showing the unity of Obama and Clinton. This was about creating a unified force in the party."

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Corzine leads Christie in new '09 poll

A second independent poll in seven days on the 2009 race for Governor shows a potentially close contest between Gov. Jon Corzine and Republican Christopher Christie, the United States Attorney.  A Zogby International poll conducted for Garden State Equality gives Corzine a 45%-36% lead over Christie; a Quinnipiac University poll released last Tuesday has Christie leading 41%-40% -- a statistical dead heat.

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The Back Room

National progressive group backs Watson Coleman in CD12

The Progressive Democrats of America Co-Founder and National Director Tim Carpenter and State Chair Mary Ellen Marino today endorsed Bonnie Watson Coleman for the Democratic nomination in the 12thCongressional District.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 24, 2014

Organization to honor Gov. KeanAn event next month for Community Options, Inc. will celebrate the 25th Anniversary of the organization's founding and honor Governor Tom Kean, Sr., a was an advocate over 25 years ago for bringing individuals with developmental disabilities out of state institutions into small group homes.Robert...

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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

"This is the only Tea Party group that endorsed Mitt Romney. These guys are the Vichy French of the Tea Party movement. They're the guys who say 'Viva la France,' and then you can't find them when the fighting starts. Come on." - GOP strategist Rick Shaftan, on the Independence Hall Tea Party group.

- PolitickerNJ.com


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