InsiderNJ Key Must-Read Pieces: Week of Jan. 30th


First of all, the thoughts and prayers of everyone here at InsiderNJ are with the family of the late Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour and the community of Sayreville.

We pray too for the swift apprehension and successful prosecution of her killer.

Nothing will diminish the heinousness of this act (see below), but until the individual(s) responsible go before the law and receive just punishment, a dreadful gloom will hang over the state of New Jersey.

The week began with a significant political story, namely an announcement by Senate Republican Leader Steve Oroho that he would not seek reelection. First elected in 2007, Oroho built a reputation as a pro-building trades labor Republican eager to work across the aisle to solve New Jersey’s fiscal crisis.

Oroho Will Not Seek Re-election to New Jersey Senate

Following news that he would retire, the Republican caucus set about trying to determine who would succeed him in leadership, and state Senator Tony Bucco of Morris County emerged as the clear favorite.

Understanding Bucco

In addition, InsiderNJ Columnist Carl Golden – against the backdrop of a Monmouth Poll released this week ascertaining the public’s reaction to this issue – examined the consequences of President Joe Biden’s classified documents fiasco:

“On Nov.2, 2022, the first domino fell, toppled by an epic error in judgment to cloak in secrecy the discovery of a small number of classified government documents in a Washington, D.C., think tank office used by President Biden following the end of his tenure as vice president in 2017.

“When the news of the discovery broke in January, the falling dominos accelerated one after another engulfing the Biden Administration, knocking it off stride and off message.”

Read more in…

Of Documents, Deception And Dominos

While New Jersey’s governor continued to jockey for position to succeed Biden, a former New Jersey Governor made the headlines at InsiderNJ.

From John Van Vliet:

“Former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman has not resigned herself to the history books, but has been deeply active in pro-democracy initiatives since leaving office.  A staunch opponent of Donald Trump, the Garden State’s first female governor resigned from her position in 2001 to serve as the head of the Environmental Protection Agency during the George W. Bush administration.   That may have been enough for most people to wrap up a successful career in public office, but Whitman has re-emerged as the co-chair of a new political party, the Forward Party, sharing the leadership position with former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang of New York.”

To read the whole story, please go to…

Former Governor Whitman Wants to Carry Her New Party ‘Forward’

In LD-12, meanwhile, Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry said he plans to run in the Republican Primary for the seat currently occupied by state Senator Sam Thompson (R-12).

A fighter who has told allies in Middlesex that he intends to run again, Thompson has served in the senate since 2012.

For his part, Henry was born in Hoboken, and moved to Old Bridge Township with his family in 1961. He still resides in the same home his parents originally purchased. He went on to earn a Bachelor’s degree from Trenton State College (The College of New Jersey) in 1981.

For the whole story, see…

Mayor Henry to Run for LD-12 Senate Seat

Town of Clinton Councilman Ross Traphagen simultaneously announced his candidacy for the State Assembly in the 16th Legislative District.

Clinton Councilman Traphagen Announces LD16 Assembly Candidacy

Then there was the guy in the purple bong suit and a masked man in a wheelchair.

From InsiderNJ Columnist Fred Snowflack:

“Back in December, the borough council here rejected plans of 1st Choice Health and Wellness to develop a medicinal marijuana facility on Main Street. This came after many nearby residents condemned the idea as one that would bring crime, undesirables and general mayhem to the area.”

Mr. Snowflack’s piece can be found here:

The Guy in the Purple Bong Suit

Wednesday brought one of the most horrific days in New Jersey memory, with reports of the murder of Sayreville Councilwoman Eunice Dwumfour.

Sayreville Councilwoman Killed

According to published reports, authorities on Wednesday night pronounced Ms. Dwumfour dead on the scene, the victim of multiple gunshot wounds. Sayreville Business Administrator Glenn Skarzynski on Friday told InsiderNJ that law enforcement is working “around the clock” to bring Councilwoman Dwumfour’s killer to justice.

A former resident of Newark’s South Ward who moved to Sayreville five years ago, Republican Councilwoman Dwumfour had a great reputation.

We examine her life and career here:

Uniter Councilwoman Dwumfour Looked Forward ‘to a Glorious Year’

InsiderNJ reporter Martina Adasme dived into the dynamics of Latina politics in New Jersey with…

Latina Leaders: Democrats have a ‘Terrible Record’ When it Comes to Recruiting Latinas

Writes Ms. Adasme:

“After the twelve and a half years that she served, New Jersey hasn’t had any other female executive leading the people, affirms Wilda Díaz, the former Mayor of Perth Amboy, who lost reelection for a fourth term in 2020. The first female Mayor of Perth Amboy and the first Latina Mayor of New Jersey, Diaz (pictured, above) said she believes the state needs more Latina officials because the Latina community is underrepresented, and without the representation, ‘there is no way the leaders would hear the wishes and needs of our communities.’

“New Jersey is the home to a significant number of people with a Latino and Hispanic racial or ethnic group. In fact, in the Census carried out in 2019, this group represented a 21.5% of the total. Why don’t we have more Latinas in higher positions of power – not just mayor but in federal office? In New York we can see Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez and in Nevada Catherine Cortez Masto, but in New Jersey we lack a corresponding representative.”

InsiderNJ reporter John Van Vliet examined the contrasting reactions of U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell and U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer – both North Jersey Democrats – to Con. Resolution 9 “Denouncing the Horrors of Socialism”.

That piece can be found here:

Pascrell Versus Gottheimer

And finally, as former President Donald J. Trump sinks into the abyss, InsiderNJ Columnist Alan Steinberg looked at how a possible presidential candidacy by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis would impact New Jersey Republican frontrunner for Governor Jack Ciattarelli:

DeSantis 2024 would Create a Political Nightmare for Ciattarelli

Have a good weekend everybody, stay safe, and in the inimitable words of that proud frequent denizen of New Jersey, Buckaroo Banzai, “Remember, no matter where you go – there you are.”






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