Who’s Up and Who’s Down: The End of the George Gilmore Era in Ocean County

Insider NJ presents the week's winners and losers in New Jersey's political news. Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore's fall from power following federal tax evasion convictions is among the topics.

Who’s Up This Week in NJ Politics

June Fischer

Joe Biden’s biggest backer in New Jersey was thrilled when the former vice president prepared to get in the 2020 presidential contest. Biden later did, making his candidacy official earlier today.

Christine Dansereau

The incumbent Roselle Mayor (and running mate Denise Wilkerson) won their challenge to remain on the ballot in the June Democratic Primary.

Peg Schaffer

The critics of Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie jeer that it’s a case of simply moving chairs on the deck of the Titantic. But in the aftermath of Lizette Delgado Polanco’s resignation (see below), the respected Somerset County Democratic Chair stepped forward to accept an interim appoint as vice chair of the Democratic State Committee. By taking the position, Schaffer threw in with Chairman Currie. Now (as of right now) the only county party chairs who have not formally picked a side in the cold war between the sitting chair and Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jonis are Mercer County’s Janice Mironov and Ocean County Democratic Committee Chairman Wyatt Earp (pictured).

George Helmy

Governor Murphy’s new chief of staff received praise this week from Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-6), who said Helmy took the time to go down to South Jersey to meet with Greenwald when he first started at his new position. The veteran South Jersey Democrat described Helmy as a “phenomenal addition” to the front office.

Noreen Giblin

On Monday, the longtime counsel of the state Board of Public Utilities (and daughter of assemblyman Tom Giblin of Montclair) will start her new job as a cabinet secretary in the administration of Governor Phil Murphy.

Matt Doherty

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver offered considerable praise this week to the former mayoor of Belmar, now the executive director of the Casino Redevelopment Authority. “I would be remiss, and that’s why I had to get up from my seat, in acknowledging the commitment that we have received from Matt Doherty,” the LG said. “You know, I’m a Jersey girl, so I know the history of our state and the things that have happened since its creation, and this is no disrespect to anyone else who has ever led the CRDA, Matt Doherty when he assumed the leadership of CRDA he has demonstrated through his leadership the commitment that he has to this city and to the people who live in it.  So, Matt, I want to publicly thank you for what you have done.  Thank you.” (applause)

Who’s Down This Week in NJ Politics

George Gilmore

Guilty of failing to pay payroll taxes and submitting a false loan application, the kingpin of Ocean County politics gave up the Republican chairmanship he had held since the mid 1990’s.

Bridget Kelly

The former top aide to Governor Chris Christie received 13 months in prison for her role in the scandal otherwise known as Bridgegate.

Lizette Delgado Polanco

Ensnared in a series of embarrassing stories about her maintenance of the state Schools Development Authority (SDA), LDP this week stepped down from her job as CEO of the authority and as vice chair of the Democratic State Committee.

Chris Christie

Outside the federal courthouse in Newark, Bridget Kelly’s defense attorney Michael Critchley had harsh words for the former Governor when he said Christie “threw this woman under a bus and ran right over her.” Kelly added, “The fact that I am on these steps in place of others from the Christie administration, and the governor himself, does not prove my guilt. It only proves that justice is not blind,” she said. “The truth will be heard and for the former governor, that truth will be unescapable, regardless of lucrative television deals or even future campaigns. I plan to make sure of that.” She also called Christie a bully and a coward.

Frank Caramagna

The mayor of Elmwood Park is under investigation by the Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office for allegedly tampering with vote by mail ballots.

John Ducey

The Brick Twp. Mayor faced backlash after he failed to condemn a racist, anti-Semitic tweet sent in his direction by someone complaining about local beaches “invaded” and “ruined” by Hasidic and orthodox Jews.  Ducey’s response? “Just call police with any problems and they will send them out.” Ducey later apologized for a misconstrued poorly worded dispatch.

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