InsiderNJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of the Iowa Debacle

Operative Adam Alonso with Governor Murphy.

WHO’S UP

Ray Cottiers

The new chief of staff for Assemblyman Chris DePhillips (R-40), Cottiers has 10 years of experience as a teacher, is a member of the Republican County Committee in New Milford, and ran an effective race as candidate for Bergen County Freeholder in 2017. He has also served on several government and non-profit boards and will bring that experience to this new role.

Jennifer Holdsworth with Buttigieg.
Jennifer Holdsworth with Buttigieg.

Pete Buttigieg

The South Bend, Indiana mayor‘s strong Iowa finish enabled the candidate for the Democratic nomination for president to collect a key New Jersey endorsement: fellow Rhodes Scholar U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3). “I know Pete, I trust Pete and I believe he’s ready to move our country forward,” Kim said in a press release about the endorsement. “I’ve known him nearly half my life, we shared the joys of each other’s weddings, and we had hard conversations about deployments to Afghanistan and what it means to serve our nation.”

Mike Bloomberg 

As New Jersey’s political establishment prepares to look past Joe Biden (see below), U.S. Rep. Mike Sherrill (D-11) issued her own endorsement of the former New York Mayor.

Hamm
Larry Hamm, Sanders’s NJ chie and a candidate for U.S. senate, could celebrate his candidate’s position coming out of Iowa and heading into N.H.

Bernie Sanders

Following a dreadful debacle in Iowa, officials had not yet tallied all the votes from Tuesday night, but the Democratic socialist Senator from Vermont appeared to have finished either first or second (behind Buttigieg). Sanders also had a lead this week heading into Tuesday’s New Hampshire Democratic Primary.

Lourdes Leon

Never elected, Leon of Elizabeth has the backing of the Union County Democratic Committee to run as the replacement for retiring Union County Freeholder Angel Estrada. Leon screened this past weekend.

Jimmy Davis

A judge this week dismissed a “sexting” lawsuit against Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis by a former city employee, indicating that discovery in the case was “on a road to nowhere,” according to The Hudson County View.

WHO’S DOWN

John Roth

Condemned by the council for passing out drunk and waking up without his pants on in an employee’s bed, the Mayor of Mahwah this week read a statement of remorse: “To my family, the event host, the township’s employees, town council and all the residents of Mahwah, I’m sorry. I let you down,”

Democracy 

What happened in Iowa this week, compounded by what happened in the 2016 election, compounded by the President of the United States soliciting a foreign government to intrude on our politics on his own behalf and getting away with it, compounded by factionalism, compounded by ignorance, all leave us at this moment hovering dangerously at the edge of an abyss.

The Democratic Party

The embarrassment in Iowa, a deep divide in the party, less than scintillating candidates for president, the Alonso-Gilbert disaster, and President Donald J. Trump’s effective State of the Union speech ahead of U.S. senators voting against impeachment add up to a pretty grim week for the Dems.

Adam Alonso and Liz Gilbert

In a letter to staff obtained this week by the Journal Sentinel, the board said it had retained an

New Jersey Democratic State Committee Executive Director Liz Gilbert is stepping down to take a position with the Milwaukee DNC Host Committee.
Former New Jersey Democratic State Committee Executive Director Liz Gilbert.

attorney to investigate ‘concerns about the work environment’ for the Milwaukee 2020 Host Committee. During the investigation, Liz Gilbert, president of the host committee, will not be in the office and ‘will not have direct contact with staff,’ the letter says. Adam Alonso, the chief of staff for the group, has been placed on administrative leave, pending the outcome of the probe.” The pair of New Jersey-connected Democrats subsequently lost their jobs.  It was an ignominious end for the duo, who had not engendered much goodwill in their previous roles in New Jersey.

Joe Biden

It looked bad going in, and it turned out to be worse. That fourth place finish in Iowa has the former vice president’s New Jersey backers wringing their hands and already looking ahead to Plan B, which appears to be “B” for Bloomberg.

Biden button.
Joe Biden button by June Fischer.
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