The late Gore Vidal wasn’t thinking of Union County Democrats when he wrote the book Perpetual War for Perpetual Peace, but the same concept applies here – well, at least the first half of that title.
They were in court today, straddling two sides of a local School Board election in Elizabeth in a case involving a come-backing Tony Monteiro (pictured).
Formerly a School Board member, councilman and candidate for the Assembly, Monteiro has long affiliated with the Fajardo wing of local politics, as distinguished from the Mayor Chris Bollwage/former state Senator Ray Lesniak wing of the party.
Politics watchers see his attempt at a return as potentially the initial runway construction toward another districtwide run for the assembly. Remember, the county is still divided between the forces of sitting Chairman (and Senator) Nick Scutari and state Senator Joe Cryan.
On the Scutari side of the equation, Assemblyman Jamel Holley is running for reelection next year.
In such a jagged political environment, if brand name Monteiro can back on the School Board, maybe he could use that as a local base of operations for a future, Holley-alternative stab at an LD20 seat, maybe with the tacit backing, or possibly even on a 2021 ticket with Cryan.
Having filed their School Board petitions last month, Monteiro and his running mates found their candidacies challenged by the Bollwage forces.
Allegations of petition malfeasance.
Union County Clerk Joanne Rajoppi held a hearing last Thursday and acknowledged mistakes on the petitions but refused to jettison the candidates on a technicality. So the Bollwage Team filed to take the matter to court, which they did, earlier today.
Chancery Judge Katherine Dupuis ruled in favor of a hearing in the matter for the end of the month.