Download Insider NJ’s 2021 Insider 100: Power publication or view it below
When the senate reconvenes in January, the governing body will encounter the obvious absence of senators Steve Sweeney and Kip Bateman, respectively a Democrat and Republican from South Jersey and Somerset County. Perhaps ironically, Democrat Sweeney, an ironworker by trade, lost his seat at the height of the virtual era, when quasi-reality supplants brick and mortar substance. The senate president’s replacement, an occupant of the far right reaches of the Republican Party, supplants the likes of Bateman, a Republican in the Tom Kean, Sr. mold, whose gravitas chops contributed to Sweeney’s cross-the-aisle credibility.
It will truly be a new era without Sweeney, who attempted to get New Jersey to focus on its fiscal crisis amid myriad distractions and siren enticements; and without Bateman, whose Republican Party at its worst kowtows to anarchy sooner than project a willingness to work with the other half of America. It hurts to lose these men, allies who represented, not the extremities of a country determined to undo itself, but leaders who outleapt partisanship for a cause larger than merely party.
That said, in an historic outcome, New Jersey chose to reelect Governor Phil Murphy – even by the most slender of margins – on the strength of Murphy’s adherence to science, sooner than the angry defiance of a mob; even as Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, propelled in part by the pitchfork brandishing base of his party, made a compelling – and honorable – case for refocusing on core New Jersey issues like property taxes, the state budget, and schools funding.
Beyond the chest-thumping mindlessness of one side exacting a rigid measure of power over the other, we must discern the virtues in both sides, listen with the most intent ear to the message of the voters – and navigate a pathway forward and clear of the smaller manifestations of our statewide selves…
Download Insider NJ’s 2021 Insider 100: Power publication or view it below:
The 2021 Insider 100: Power