InsiderNJ’s Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of Feb. 26th


Andy Kim 

The upstart Democratic Primary candidate seeking to supplant disgraced U.S. Senator Bob Menendez tore through the early county convention process, grinding up his chief rival, First Lady Tammy Murphy, in the process. He appears strong going into Bergen County Monday night, where the Murphy Campaign desperately needs to stop the bleeding.

Assemblyman Conaway

Herb Conaway

The veteran Assemblyman from BurlCo this past Saturday won the coveted backing of the Burlington County Democratic Committee over his rival, Assemblywoman Carol Murphy. The pair are vying for their party’s nomination to represent CD-3, the home district of U.S. Rep. Kim (see above).

Robert Singer

His peers this week selected the veteran GOP senator from Ocean County to serve on the Legislative Services Commission, “to help improve and modernize the methods, practices, and procedures of the New Jersey Legislature.” Said Singer: “It is truly a privilege to have the opportunity to serve on this very unique commission. I look forward to working with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make our government more efficient and fiscally responsible so that it can more effectively serve and represent the people of New Jersey.”

Nellie Pou 

Her colleagues reelected the veteran Democratic senator from Passaic County to serve as Chair of the

Senator Pou

New Jersey Legislative Latino Caucus. Senator Pou’s leadership team includes Senate Majority Leader M. Teresa Ruiz, who will serve as Vice Chair; Assemblywoman Yvonne Lopez, who will serve as Treasurer; and Assemblywoman Alixon Collazos-Gill, who will serve as Secretary.

Sergeant William Major of Bradley Beach

In a viral video out of Bradley Beach, the local cop bucks his apparently drunken and interfering police chief to stay professionally focused on his duties related to a DUI traffic stop.

Paul Juliano was elected chair of the Bergen County Democratic Committee without opposition, vowing to set the goals for the party according to Vince Lombardi’s dictate that “winning isn't everything, it’s the only thing."
Paul Juliano, chair of the Bergen County Democratic Committee.



Bergen County: The Tammy Murphy versus Andy Kim battle Monday evening will fall upon the shoulders of Chairman Paul Juliano, tasked with engineering a win for Murphy.

Passaic County: The untimely death in January of Sheriff Richard Berdnik created an opening for law enforcement guys stepping up to replace him, among them former Sheriff Jerry Speziale, who kicks off his campaign this morning. Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie and Speziale don’t like each other, and Currie wasted no time critiquing his former sheriff as Passaic amps up for probably the most animated cycle since 2012, when Democrats protected incumbent U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell from a Republican Redistricting Map.



Leonard Guida

The Bradley Beach Police chief made a fool out of himself in that above-referenced sulfuric video out of the bucolic beach community. On administrative leave following the verbal and physical confrontation with one of his own cops during a drunk driving investigation, will mercifully retire this week from his $202,500 job.

Larry Fox

The Mayor of Bradley Beach faces intensified scrutiny after allowing Guida to “retire without facing disciplinary actions following his involvement in a [Nov. 9th, 2023] physical altercation with Sergeant William Major.”

The Tammy Murphy Campaign

It’s dreadful. They need a win. Fast. A loss in Bergen or a limping-to-the-finish-line win – will capsize the campaign. It doesn’t look good. Let’s face it. A supposedly tough-talking anti-gun ad this week released by Murphy became gleeful target practice for the Kim Campaign.

Bill Hayden

Bill Hayden

The Sussex County Republican Committee wants the Sussex County GOP Commmissioner to resign. Their statement this week: “After confirming various accounts from individuals who have known him for years, family relations through marriage, and our own direct experiences where he informed Sussex County Republican leaders, numerous volunteers, and elected officials, and claimed in public meetings to have combat experience, we found freedom of information act requests showing he was never a Navy SEAL or served in the Naval Service. We conclude that he has disrespected all veterans and misrepresented himself to our party and the public.”

Jose Fermin and Jose Juan Guererro-Cruz

Attorney General Matthew J. Platkin this week announced a state grand jury has voted to indict a Paterson housing and zoning inspector as well as an accomplice, charging them for their alleged roles in a conspiracy to accept money in exchange for illegitimate building permits bearing forged signatures, purported to be issued by the City of Paterson. The grand jury returned a seven-count indictment on February 20, 2024, against Fermin, 50, of Prospect Park, and Guererro-Cruz, 44, of Cape Coral, Florida.

The New Jersey Taxpayers (of the FUTURE)

Governor Phil Murphy unveiled his budget proposal earlier this week, which would increase annual


spending to a record-high $56 billion, or three-percent more than last year’s $54.3 billion budget. He carves it up so that businesses making over $10 million a year will bear the brunt. The Governor’s 2.5 percent Corporate Business Tax aims to pay for a budget gap at NJ Transit, while his overall plan wisely makes investments in public education. But Speaker Craig Coughlin’s StayNJ Plan to help taxpaying seniors will still need additional funding beyond the projected surplus in Murphy’s budget. The grotesquely massive document represents over $20 billion more than what Governor Chris Christie left the state on his way out the door, and the long-term prognosis for overworked, underpaid, and underhoused taxpayers in this corruption-saturated state looks grim, to say the least.


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