Download Insider NJ’s 2019 Insider 100: Power publication here or view it below
Even in the worst circumstances in our impaired system of government, campaigns and elections condition power, and so you will find in the pages that follow a significant demonstration of augmented or diminished influence based on what happened on November 5th. As much as Trenton insiders attempt to insulate themselves from the turbulence of democracy, even the core of the establishment feels the jarring currents of what goes on out there on the streets and in the voting booths where reside the wills of regular people.
This 2019 Insider Power list blends both worlds: the players behind the castle walls and those trying to get inside, trying to give voice or expression to some political will at present underconsidered, or to some injustice unresolved.
This year we focused considerable attention on legislative races, where establishment Democrats sought to build on an Assembly supermajority by carrying anti-Donald J. Trump attitudes from the 2018 federal election year into districtwide wins in newfound territory. But there were several deeper things happening on the ground as campaigns collided. The party in the majority faced the challenge from the beginning of trying to hold onto seats in the 1st Legislative district, which Trump won, a dynamic at odds with other districts where they hoped to galvanize anti-Trump sentiments with anti-Trump candidates and perhaps establish wider frontiers to mitigate a southern loss – or get lucky and win everywhere. They had the obvious challenge of a sitting governor in their own party whose messaging – and more – clashed with their own…