NEWARK - Many observers of the state's largest city called it the November surprise: just before Thanksgiving, Newark Mayor Luis Quintana fired at least eight high-level city staffers, including four department heads, from former Mayor Cory Booker's administration. At almost the same time, Quintana enlisted former North Ward Councilman and Newark police sergeant Hector Corchado to be deputy police director under current director Samuel DeMaio, pending state approval.
When Quintana was sworn in as Newark's mayor in November to complete Booker's unexpired term, most watchers of the city's political scene thought Quintana would be just a character actor in Newark's ongoing political drama. After Booker went off to the U.S. Senate, Quintana would fill the mayor's role while the battle between councilmen Anibal Ramos, Jr., Ras Baraka and Darrin Sharif, as well as former state Assistant Attorney General Shavar Jeffries, in the May 2014 election would take center stage.
But according to a longtime Newark political operative who requested anonymity, Quintana increasingly wants the permanent spotlight of the city's top job.Read More >
TRENTON - Just in time to heat up the already contentious mayoral race in the state's largest city, the state Comptroller released a report today that found questionable expenditures.
The state Comptroller today identified more than $10 million in appropriations for city offices, stating that was more than six times similar budgeting in similar-sized cities.
The audit comes as the city is in the midst of a heated, post-Cory Booker mayoral election.
Among other things, Comptroller Matt Boxer’s report found that the city budgeted over $10 million for its Clerk and Council offices in 2012, more than six times the amount appropriated for the same offices in Jersey City and more than eight times the amount spent in Paterson, the next largest New Jersey municipality.Read More >
For hire: former mayor, who once served in an executive capacity in one of the Oranges, just not the one he wants to serve right now.
They’ve seen him at recent council meetings, those citizens of West Orange alert to the demarcations of next year’s mayor’s race, and so they absorbed with nary a sense of shock the news about former Orange Mayor Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., probing entry into the contest.
“I am honored and humbled that West Orange residents would consider having me as their mayor,” Hawkins said in a statement, after a meet-and-greet at a local restaurant. “To serve as an elected official in the town in which I was raised would be a great honor."Read More >
TRENTON – A Burlington County lawmaker wants to “go green” and create some green at the same time.
Assemblyman Troy Singleton, (D-7), Mount Laurel, introduced a bill this week that seeks to make environmentally-sound improvements affordable, particularly for those who traditionally have been unable to afford them.
In the process, under A4533, the economy would ideally receive a boost through jobs growth and lower utility bills.Read More >
The clock is ticking on Republican U.S. Senate hopefuls mulling a challenge against Democratic Sen. Cory Booker.
At least, that’s according to one state lawmaker who’s entertaining a statewide bid himself, and who says a candidate has roughly the next month to emerge if they intend to mount a serious challenge to the incumbent.
“I think they probably have to decide no later than late December or early January,” said Assemblyman Jon Bramnick (R-21). “I assume within the next 30 days you’ll have a pretty good sense of who is [running on] the Republican side.”Read More >
Paterson Mayor Jeff Jones hears the payback talk ahead of 2014 but dismisses it as silly, and intends to unabashedly run as the independent entity who refuses to be controlled or undermined by political skirmishes.
The history stings.
Jones backed Steve Rothman over Bill Pascrell in the 2012 CD 9 Democratic Primary. Pascrell won, and now the congressman and his allies want Jones gone.
But Jones points out that Pascrell backed the loser in 2010 when Jones deposed Jose “Joey” Torres, “So who’s creating the double standard?”
At Pascrell’s fundraiser last night, insiders chewed on the name of Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly (D-35) as the strongest alternative to the recalcitrant Jones, and this morning, “Anybody who puts his name in his hat deserves respect,” Jones admitted.Read More >
GARFIELD – Two years ago at this time some of the closest confidants of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell’s (D-9) looked like they wanted to evaporate into the wallpaper of the Venetian sooner than fall in behind the chariot wheels of the veteran Paterson congressman.
But they did go to war, some of them less reluctantly than others and none more fervently than the candidate, as they all finally reaped the rewards of Pascrell’s stunning victory over U.S. Rep. Steve Rothman (D-9), and in the aftermath gleefully awaited the next would-be political bloodbath, in this case the 2014 Paterson mayor’s contest.
“They’ll all be showing up tonight,” said a source at the Venetian at a sumptuous Pascrell fundraiser, referring to the contenders in next year’s mayoral contest.
“Except one,” another source said, and no one asked him who he meant.
Everyone knew he was talking about incumbent Mayor Jeff Jones, who endorsed Rothman over the homegrown Pascrell, who was supposed to lose to Rothman based on the dimensions of the jammed –together new congressional map.Read More >
George Norcross III has become the majority owner of the Philadelphia Inquirer and philly.com, according to published reports.Read More >
Ramos campaign war chest in Newark mayorial race now more than $500,000 BELLEVILLE - Nanina's in the Park restaurant borders Branch Brook Park, where thousands of cherry blossoms bloom every spring. On Monday night, Newark mayoral candidate Anibal Ramos, Jr., blocks from the North Ward councilman's neighborhood, hoped that...
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By Christopher Durkin Many New Jersey lawmakers have fought to make it easier to vote. And there has been considerable progress in terms of voter access and information. Voter registration has been made easier, with forms available online that... Read More >
"He can't be trusted to run a toll bridge, how can he be trusted to run a country?" - Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19), chair of the Assembly Transportation Committee, on Gov. Chris Christie.- MSNBC
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