Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-28).

Caputo Mourns Passing of ‘Four Seasons’ Musician and Belleville Native Tommy DeVito

(TRENTON) – Upon news of Belleville native Tommy DeVito passing away due to COVID-19, Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex) issued the following statement regarding this member of The Four Seasons – the musical group on which “Jersey Boys” was based:

“Last night, our state lost a New Jersey icon, talented musician and all-around good man. Belleville native Tommy DeVito was the engine behind ‘The Four Seasons,’ whose hard work and musical skill helped the group achieve their well-deserved success.

“It’s no wonder the band’s members were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and had the Tony Award-winning musical “Jersey Boys” written about their lives. Yet even with all that acclaim, Tom never let it go to his head. He stayed the same genuine man he always was.

“I had the pleasure of knowing Tommy for many years and having his support throughout my career. It was my great honor to present him with an Assembly resolution recognizing all of his accomplishments back in 2012.

“In addition to being a good friend, he was a generous and charitable person who freely offered advice to aspiring, young musicians. Tommy and his life’s work will never be forgotten in our state.”

GOP Freeholder Gallagher’s Reelection Ad in Somerset County


New Jersey Surpasses 200,000 Total COVID-19 Cases

Governor Murphy announced at his daily briefing that the state has surpassed 200k COVID-19 cases total since the beginning of the pandemic, currently at 200,154 cases.

The spot positivity rate of tests is 1.81% as of September 17th – far lower than the 48% to 60% range in March and April.

The viral transmission rate is 1.12 as of Sunday.

The total fatality rate is 14,278 as of Monday, with 1,791 probable fatalities.

Hanlon a Potential LG Option for the GOP

In the continuing bruising behind-the-scenes fight for governor 2021, look for the name of Monmouth County Clerk Christine Hanlon to surface as a potential candidate for lieutenant governor.

The man fight right now in the GOP for the nomination to run statewide against (presumably) incumbent Governor Phil Murphy is between former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and GOP Chairman Doug Steinhardt.

If Ocean goes to Steinhardt, the Ciattarelli forces may have a more urgent and strategic play to make in neighboring Monmouth, which could activate Hanlon as an option for running mate. An impressive countywide pol, she could end up on either ticket, as part of the party’s play to present a balanced alternative to Democrats.

This kind of parlor room speculation could produce any number of configurations, of course, but look for Hanlon specifically in intensified conversations as 2021 looms.


Watch: Murphy Signs Environmental Justice Legislation


Burzichelli Provides the Quote of the Day

Complimenting someone’s striped shirt at today’s Assembly Appropriations Committee, Chairman John Burzichelli (D-3) said the fashion statement was appropriate because “Many people think us legislators should be wearing stripes.”


Appropriations Committee Passes Bill Prohibiting Posting of Judge’s Address on Internet

The Assembly Appropriations Committee this afternooon passed A-1649, which would prohibit posting or publishing on Internet the home address or telephone number of certain judges and prosecutors.

The legislation arose after the murder of the son and wounding of the husband of Judge Esther Salas.

Support for the bill was unanimous.

The Connective Political Tissue In LD35’s Smaller Towns

Prospect Park Mayor Mohamed T. Khairullah and Elmwood Park Councilman Dan Golabek hosted a fundraiser for Garfield City Council candidates earlier this week. Garfield holds November non partisan municipal elections for all 5 seats. Incumbents Mayor Rich Rigoglioso, Deputy Mayor Joe Delaney, and Councilwoman Erin Delaney are defending their seats with 2 newcomers Romi Herrera and Pawel Maslag. They are aligned with the Bergen County Democrats, with Chairman Paul Juliano set to host a fundraiser for them next month.

A few key points politically connecting the three towns: Elmwood Park and Garfield make up about 25% of the district, (pop 55k together); the three communities (EP, Garfield, PP) have similarities; they are the “smaller” towns in LD35  in relation to district-dominant Paterson; EP Councilman Golabek is the Garfield 2020 Team’s campaign manager, while Garfield Councilwoman Erin Delaney serves as Municipal Clerk in Elmwood Park and Prospect Park; Mayor Khairullah is set to raise money sometime next month for Elmwood Park’s Council candidates as a symbol of unity and support for neighboring District 35 communities.

“The Garfield 2020 team is made up of individuals that carry the same work ethics as the Prospect Park team,” said Khairullah. “They believe in inclusivity and that residents come first. Supporting the Garfield 2020 team was an easy decision because we need to support more good people in order for us to improve our communities: we are all effected by each other,” Mayor Khairullah added.

“Elmwood Park and Garfield are joined at the hip”, said Elmwood Park Councilman Dan Golabek. “It’s an honor to team up with Mayor Khairullah and our friends in Prospect Park and work together to elect the best possible leaders throughout our district,” he added.


Spiller and Marley Raise $ for Kennedy

Mayor Sean Spiller and Blue Wave leader Marcia Marley hosted a Montclair virtual fundraiser last night for CD2 candidate Amy Kennedy and raised about $15k .

Virtual attendees included Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones, former U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, and Montclair Councilman Bob Russo.


Murphy to Join Kennedy in CD2 for Infrastructure Announcement

On Thursday, September 17th at 1:00 p.m., Amy Kennedy will announce an infrastructure plan for South Jersey. Governor Murphy and Wildwood Mayor Pete Byron will also make remarks.

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