It once constituted a favorite Paterson parlor game: who would get shouted down first if then-Council President Aslon Goow ever went to Trenton as an assemblyman: Goow or the similarly voluble and volatile Gov. Chris Christie.
It was Lee Van Cleef-look-alike Goow, after all, who aggressively engaged in any number of exchanges with residents from his throne of power on the local governing body; who once sent a challenger scurrying from City Hall wishing he had never attempted to criticize the councilman in a public forum; who gave chase to a burglar behind the wheel of his own car; and who rose out of his seat in the audience during the 2010 Tea Party election and poured forth a stream of epithets at the debate moderator.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9) later picked Goow out of a tent crowd and dropped into a fighter’s stance in recognition of the counciilman’s efforts.Read More >
State Sen. John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne) acknowledged an anti-incumbent atmosphere that contributed to a majority of his county committee people losing last Tuesday to a slate organized by marriage equality activist Jeff Gardner.
But Girgenti, who will formally relinquish his local party chairmanship at a reorganization meeting tonight to Gardner, made no apologies for opposing last year's marriage equality bill, which sparked the younger man's challenge and last Tuesday's local upset.
"Look at the make up of the 35th District," Girgenti told PolitickerNJ.com. "I talked to pastors in Paterson, and leaders among Hispanics - they were both opposed to it. We have a strong Moslim population. Opposed. Everyone I talked to was against it. I've gotten praise everywhere I've gone for voting the way I did.
"I'm not an arch conservative," the senator added. "I've had the support of labor and of progressive groups. I'm a moderate. I support civil unions. I voted for medical marijuana. I voted for what I believe."
Against the backdrop of legislative redistricting, he hears murmurings out there now of a challenge to his senate seat, but the senator insists he doesn't intend to go anywhere.
"I don't consider it a major setback," Girgenti said of the loss of party control in his hometown. "I am committed to running next year."Read More >
The steady din of progressive BlackBerry buzzing headed into nearly its first full week after marriage equality activist Jeff Gardner's local take-down of state Sen. John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne) in a 19-7 victory for control of the Democratic Party in Hawthorne.
At issue is whether Girgenti - with a chunk taken out of him last Tuesday - will receive a primary next year, and names like Assemblywoman Nellie Pou and lame duck Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres are already circulating with attendant question marks.
"It's the nature of politics for one generation to succeed the one previous," said Gardner, who said he personally has undertaken no communications with Pou or Torres as potential challengers to Girgenti, who voted "no" last year on marriage equality, prompting Gardner to mobilize.
Since his defeat last week, outgoing Democratic Party Chairman Girgenti sent a terse communique to his conqueror noting the time and place of tonight's reorganization meeting in Hawthrone.
Gardner wouldn't speculate about follow-up assaults on Girgenti's senate seat.
"The 2011 elections are so far in the future," said the incoming Hawthorne Democratic Party chairman. "And of course, there's still redistricting to consider. Hawthorne may not even be in the 35th District, which means I wouldn't be in the 35th. It's always premature to talk about endorsements."Read More >
PATERSON - Latinos suffered two significant losses Tuesday night in New Jersey’s third largest city. With the defeat of two-term Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres, there are no Latino mayors in the state’s ten largest cities.
The second was that of At-Large Councilman Rigo Rodriguez, once a rising star and potentially a 2010 mayoral candidate until he helped forge a Dominican-Puerto Rican alliance with Torres in this election cycle. Many believed the alliance would be strong enough to carry both men in a city that is over 50% Latino.
But as Council President Jeffrey Jones defeated Torres on Tuesday and Councilman Ken Morris, Jr. also returned to power, the governing body also picked up Benjie Wimberly and Kenneth McDaniels, a net gain of one African-American councilman, as Jones moves from the legislative to the executive.
The loss of Rodriguez by 25 votes leaves Paterson with one Latino on the governing body, one who is known not for party building so much as fiery independence.
Renegade Ward Five Councilman Julio Tavarez left fellow Dominican elected officials statewide wondering last week what his punishment should be for backing Ward 6 Councilman Andre Sayegh for mayor over Torres.
After their swearing in this summer, Paterson will have a total of six African Americans on the council, two Arab Americans and one Latino in a power shift that stunned Latinos across city lines in Newark's North Ward Tuesday night.
Torres's fall and the Latino shakeup in Paterson on Tuesday sent a shock wave through North Jersey Democratic circles this week, already harmed by Joe Ferriero's crackup in Bergen County and an organizational mudslide in Hudson County.
Running for a third term in office, Paterson Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres this week reported $848,610 raised and a closing balance of $102,004, according to the state Election Law Enforcement Commission.
Torres faces two challengers: Council President Jeffrey Jones, and Ward 6 Councilman Andre Sayegh.
Sayegh reported raising $28,380. He has $12,855 on-hand.
As of this morning, Jones had not filed this quarter's ELEC report.Read More >
Paterson Council President Jeff Jones this evening will receive the endorsement of the Paterson Pulse newspaper, a local community beat resource.
"This is our first and maybe only historic endorsement," said publisher Sirrano Keith Baldeo.
In addition to Jones for mayor, the paper intends to endorse the re-election of At-Large Councilman Ken Morris.
Jones is running in the May 11th nonpartisan election against incumbent Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres in a field that also includes Ward 6 Councilman Andre Sayegh.Read More >
Sixth Ward Councilman Andre Sayegh wants to debate Mayor Jose "Joey" Torres and Council President Jeffrey Jones in each of the city’s six wards.
“I feel very strongly that as both public servants and candidates for mayor, we must do our part to provide our community with as much information possible about our candidacies and how we differ from one another," wrote Sayegh in a letter to his rivals. "Most importantly, we must be prepared to answer the tough questions and defend our records.”
Running against two-term incumbent Torres and fellow challenger Jones, Sayegh on Friday received the endorsement of the Peruvian-American Political Action Committee (PAPAC), which endorsed Torres in 2006.Read More >
PATERSON - Council President Jeffrey Jones, candidate for mayor, opens his campaign headquarters downtown on Market Street on Saturday afternoon and doesn't get a big turnout, but makes an impassioned underdog's speech with two months until election day.
"When you talk about crime, which crime are you talking about? Crime in the streets, or the crime of people not attending to the crime in the streets? Let that marinade a while."
A crowd of around 50 people sit or stand in the abandoned storefront turned Jones stronghold hung with red, white and blue balloons and "Jeff Jones, Mayor" campaign signs.
"I'm mad," says the candidate, a big American flag stretched across the wall behind him. "They say I'm many things: Marine, Jones, crazy - I don't care. I'm mad."
The whine of a circular saw in an adjacent room where men work vies momentarily with Jones's voice before he simply projects louder - and wins.
"A volley of segments and vignettes of how I feel about things," he later explains.Read More >
This afternoon, PolitickerNJ will be posting the results of our exclusive poll of Republican primary voters in CD3.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
FDU Poll: Christie plummets 20 points Gov. Chris Christie's job approval took a 20 point drop in three plus months, according to this morning's Fairleigh Dickinson University PublicMind Poll. Christie’s post Bridgegate job approval rating stands at 41% (with 44% who disapprove), down from 61% last November. Currently about...
BY JEFF BRINDLE Anytime now, the U.S. Supreme Court will render a decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. And while reformists may not like it, the high court is likely to allow national parties to raise far more money. That could strengthen them... Read More >
“Unfortunately for the governor, the investigation appears to be turning him into a more polarizing figure. As recently as late last year, his approval numbers were consistently bigger than his disapproves - by a pretty big margin - and more voters liked everything about him than disliked everything about him. One of the defining characteristics of the governor that makes him a nationally sought after Republican is his widespread appeal in a Democratic state. Bridgegate continues to erode that asset.” - FDU Poll Director Krista Jenkins.- PolitickerNJ.com
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