Bucco Versus Testa
Since the beginning, said the late Steve Adubato, Sr., the north and south have struggled.
“I say, let the north and south live in peace,” the Newark political power broker opined, on the eve of his deal with South Jersey that made Steve Sweeney senate president and Sheila Oliver speaker.
Now the Republicans are engaged in their own scrutiny of a potential civil (or at least caucus) war conceivably dividing them along regional lines.
In one corner stands state Senator Tony Bucco, who hails from Boonton;
In the other corner stands state Senator Mike Testa, who hails from Vineland:
Steve Oroho’s bombshell announcement on Monday sets up a potential showdown between Testa and Bucco for leadership.
The former has on his side the GOP takeover of South Jersey and the unraveling of George Norcross’ South Jersey empire.
The latter can boast the longtime political hegemony of Morris County, dented somewhat by the incursion of U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11), who drove Rodney Frelinghuysen into retirement.
Will the caucus come together and heal a rift between north and south, a la Adubato’s prescription?
Assemblyman John DiMaio of Hackettstown already serves as the Republican Minority Leader in the Assembly.
Might Testa’s forces offer that as compelling evidence for why the South – helmed by Testa, the Cumberland County GOP Chair, which went full on red last year – deserves, as long last, a Republican leader in the state senate?
Oroho, after all, replaced fellow North Jerseyan Tom Kean, Jr., who replaced fellow Northern Leonard Lance.
Then again, Bucco’s been in the legislature longer – since 2010.
That said, Testa and Bucco arrived in the state senate at the same time – 2019.
The former beat the machine in the battleground contest of the year.
Bucco had a smoother path to a seat formerly occupied by his late father.
Here’s the question:
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