Below is Insider NJ’s Morning Intelligence Briefing:
QUOTE OF THE DAY: “You can bet he’s not going to be a champion of democracy.” – Former President Obama on GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli
The statewide cumulative COVID-19 count stands at 1,034,505 cases and 25,041 confirmed fatalities (and 154,991 probable cases and 2,810 probable fatalities) as of Sunday (an increase of 870 confirmed cases, 262 probable cases, and 3 lab-confirmed fatalities from the previous day). The viral transmission rate is .83. There are 6,014,030 people fully vaccinated.
President Biden will travel to New Jersey today for the groundbreaking of the Gateway Program’s Portal North Bridge.
Former President Obama campaigned for Governor Murphy’s re-election on Saturday in Newark, touting Murphy’s record, criticizing GOP challenger Jack Ciattarelli, and urging Democrats to get-out-and-vote, saying ‘we can’t afford to be tired‘ as NJ Democrats hope to galvanize listless voters amid a tightening contest, with a recent poll showing a 6-point race. Murphy and Obama have a political history, with Murphy serving as Ambassador to Germany when Obama was in office. Faced with an onslaught by national Democrats, Ciattarelli is reveling in the underdog role, saying in Morris County that the only people coming to campaign for him are going to be named ‘Jack Ciattarelli’. Ahead of Obama’s visit, Ciattarelli penned an open letter to the former President, saying ‘hope and opportunity have been sorely lacking’ under Governor Murphy.
Bergen County’s vaccination center is now offering COVID-19 booster shots.
Passaic County was awarded Green Acres Trust Fund grant funding.
Union County towns are splitting $1M for parks and rec improvements, according to MyCentralJersey.
Rep. Norcross announced $2.1M to modernize South Jersey healthcare centers and support underserved communities.
Stark and Stark and Andres and Berger announced a strategic partnership.
ICYMI: After final gubernatorial debate, which featured rowdy audience Murphy says he ‘wasn’t flustered at all‘; Guv race spending nearly $28M; Kean warns ‘democracy is in trouble‘ without local news; Stockton poll shows Murphy w/ 9-point lead; Murphy, Ciattarelli clashed in fiery debate (watch here); Murphy rolled out ‘Return and Earn’ program; Payne says bills are unique chance to bridge divide; Pascrell confident of passage of bills; Gottheimer central figure in ongoing debate
Governor Murphy and his family cast their ballots on the first day of early voting.
See the early voting returns so far in New Jersey.
Bergen County Clerk Hogan and GOP candidate Bridget Kelly debated last week, with the Bridgegate scandal generating some sparks.
Garden State Equality’s Action Fund released endorsements for the general election.
The NJ State Electrical Workers Construction Division endorsed Governor Murphy for re-election.
The Probation Association of NJ released additional legislative endorsements.
SOMA Action endorsed candidates in the general election.
In CD3, Republican Shawn Hyland launched his campaign to challenge Rep. Kim next year.
In LD9, flooding, schools, and the pandemic dominate the legislative race, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In LD30, Democrats seek to flip the district, according to the Asbury Park Press.
The Jersey Journal urged Hudson County voters to ‘skip the top of the ballot‘ in the gubernatorial race this year.
Three commissioner seats and the surrogate race top a crowded Passaic County ballot, according to NorthJersey.com.
ICYMI: Spending topped $6M in battlegrounds; Ciattarelli campaigned in Lakewood; Oliver lost the endorsement of NJ 11th For Change; Ciattarelli derided Murphy campaign appearances with national Dems; NJRTL released endorsements; Probation Association endorsed Murphy; NJOA endorsed Ciattarelli; music video focal point in Sussex commissioners race; NASW released endorsements; Obama will campaign with Murphy; Environment NJ released endorsements; Murphy leads Ciattarelli among older voters; in LD1, Testa leading by 14-points; $14.5M has already been spent in legislative elections; Somerset’s Kirsch wants to offer an alternative all-Dem control
Heading towards retirement, Senate Majority Leader Weinberg continues to speak out on issues important to her, including lowering healthcare costs.
Insider NJ’s Max Pizarro breaks down the legislative contests on News12’s Power and Politics.
Senate President Sweeney and Assemblyman Taliaferro will introduce legislative resolutions recognizing ‘Tight Ends Day’.
A new Statehouse vaccination policy is likely coming soon, according to Politico NJ.
NJ Transit’s Board has four vacancies, according to NJ.com.
ICYMI: Ciattarelli discusses priorities with Adubato; Chemistry Council announced promotions; anti-mask mandate protesters rallied at Statehouse; Hamm and supporters marched in support of CCRB legislation; HSG hired Anderson and Haddox; at Building Trades convention, Murphy received a warm reception; Murphy announced executive staff transitions; Mullen on Building Trades: ‘all we do is build‘; Sweeney discusses legislative battlegrounds; Mullen makes point to tout Oroho for Minority Leader; Oroho says leadership ‘very close race’
For a state that prides itself on diversity, New Jersey has had only one female Governor and never a person of color.
Download and read Insider NJ’s 2021 Millennials publication.
Democratic Party insiders are already looking at the next gubernatorial election cycle, with a gathering fatigue over 2021 focusing critical questions ahead of 2025.
In Newark, Governor Murphy and NJDOT Commissioner Scacetti-Gutierrez announced the designation of the city as a Transit Village.
In Hillside, the Millwrights Local 715 endorsed Nancy Mondella for mayor.
In Hoboken, Councilman Russo endorsed Mayor Bhalla for re-election.
In Middle, the township will move 911 dispatch services to Cape May County.
In Hamilton, the township will hold a meeting to discuss the clean-up of the former Nearpara Rubber site.
In Allendale, the town is asking residents to consider selling the water system to Suez, according to the Bergen Record.
In Clifton, the arbitrated PBA contract doesn’t do anything to keep younger officers, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Essex Fells, two more wells were closed to cut contamination levels, according to NJ Hills.
In Hackensack, a court says two cops can’t be fired after a warrantless search, according to the Bergen Record.
In Hawthorne, five candidates are vying for three BOE seats, according to TAPinto.
In Howell, the Planning Board denied a 425k warehouse proposal, according to the Asbury Park Press.
In Fairfield, the police gala attracted the biggest crowd yet, according to NJ Hills.
In Montclair, the town’s future is a hot topic regarding redistricting, according to Politico NJ.
In Morris Township, a second look will be taken to eliminate parking on one side of Locust Street, according to NJ Hills.
In Nutley, parents filed a complaint against the BOE President, according to NorthJersey.com.
In Roxbury, a refurbished park was renamed for the late Councilman Zoschak, according to TAPinto.
ICYMI: In Edison, Hahn says Joshi should be disqualified; in Atlantic City, Small predicts a loss for Guardian; in Morris Township, GOP looking to retake control; in Parsippany, Musella held a fundraiser; in Buena Vista, Ellen Testa running for council; in Paterson, Mimms considering mayoral candidacy, Mendez running for mayor, Davila says she’ll remain neutral; in Newark, Amador won’t seek re-election, confirming recent speculation; in Bayonne, Davis and Dems preparing to get into trenches for election
Insider NJ columnist Bob Hennelly writes ‘A Drill for Democracy: Awaken the ‘Sleeping Giant’ to Fortify Majority Rule‘
Insider NJ columnist Alan Joel Steinberg writes ‘Election Dynamics, One Week Out: Polarized Parties, Shrinking Undecided Voter Universe, Leroy Jones Leads Democratic GOTV, and a Last-Minute Joe Biden Factor Emerges‘
Insider NJ reporter Fred Snowflack writes ‘Ciattarelli Actually has to Hope New Jersey isn’t California‘
Insider NJ columnist and ELEC Executive Director writes ‘Pandemic or Not, ELEC is Fulfilling Its Mission‘
Insider NJ columnist Jay Lassiter writes ‘Straight. But But Not Narrow. A tribute to Straight People who Fought for LGBTQ Liberty‘
Insider NJ reporter Christine Sloan writes ‘Gottheimer and Malinowski Pursue Divergent 2022 Strategies‘
AROUND THE WEB:
Paul Mulshine, Star-Ledger
- In case you’re wondering why Jack Ciattarelli spent all of Thursday campaigning in one town, state Senator Bob Singer has the answer: “Donald Trump carried Ocean County by 100,000 votes last year and 25,000 of those votes were from Lakewood,” Singer told me.
Tom Moran, Star-Ledger
- Princeton University just came to the rescue of free speech by inviting a conservative speaker to campus after he was cancelled at MIT by progressives who couldn’t stand his views on affirmative action.
Amanda Hoover, NJ Advance Media For NJ.com
- When New Jersey voters head to the polls on Nov. 2, they’ll select not only a governor, but also every single one of the 120 lawmakers in the state legislature.
Matt Rooney, Save Jersey
- Early voting in New Jersey kicked off on Saturday, Save Jerseyans, and Democrats are marking the day by staging a Newark rally headlined by Barack Obama. Republicans are playing a more subtle but intricate game, and they believe it will ultimately prove a superiorly-impactful strategy.
John Heinis, Hudson County View
- Jersey City Ward F council candidate Vernon Richardson is targeting incumbent Jermaine Robinson for voting in favor of limiting public comment last year in a new campaign ad.
Katie Crist, NJ Spotlight
- The 8th legislative district sprawls over 20 towns in Atlantic, Burlington and Camden counties and has grown increasingly politically competitive over the last several years. Now the races for Senate and Assembly seats here are among the few competitive legislative races statewide.
Nicolas Huba, Press of Atlantic City
- Below is a list compiled by The Press of Atlantic City of candidates for governor and state legislative offices. The information published was provided by candidates, at the invitation of The Press. In some cases, candidates did not respond.
Susan Loyer, MyCentralJersey.com
- Suez Water announced it’s making $56 million in upgrades to its Princeton Meadows treatment plant. Construction at the company’s wastewater facility at 31 Maple Ave. is scheduled to begin this month.