HUDSON – There are no elections anymore, a Hudson insider told InsiderNJ blandly as he sized up an-over-before-it-started election season. All he sees, he said, are the cutthroat games in the diner booths and alleys of Hudson County, a political island unto itself defined by constant politics,some of it real, most of it imagined.
A prime preoccupation at a time when most of the legislature appears poised – with a few exceptions – to walk back into office amid nearly bottomed out job approval ratings – continues to be leadership.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) wants another tour on the senate throne once the relative formality of the elections end – and presumably so does Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), amid the enduring narrative that neither South Jersey’s Sweeney nor North Jersey’s Prieto can continue to co-occupy the top of the Trenton ant mound.
There’s been too much bad blood, insiders say.
But for his part, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop told InsiderNJ that he would like to see Prieto return for another term as speaker.
“Of course,” Fulop said. “I’d love to see him back. I think from my standpoint and many in Hudson and many in the state, Vinny Prieto has been a champion for working families. He’s stood his ground on issues that are important. He doesn’t get pushed around, and people may not like that about him but I appreciate that. He’s got that fighting spirit and where appropriate he pushes back on powers that be and that’s a good thing. So I’d love to see him back. I don’t know how that will play out but I support him.
“I don’t have a vote, though,” the mayor added with a smile. “and the senators will decide on what they think is best for senate president. In person I get along with Steve Sweeney.”