Murphy Extends a Friendly Town Hall Hand to Bruised Passaic County

PATERSON – Phil Murphy came in here tonight and rolled his sleeves, eager to pump up the somewhat deflated political bike tire of Passaic County, which didn’t get LG and apparently didn’t get any leadership slots but has, by the looks of it, a willing, Drumthwacket-ready ally in Murphy.

“I’m getting all riled up here, gonna take my clothes off,” said Murphy, shedding his suit jacket.

At least one source waved off the initially perceived Murphy-world slight of Essex County’s Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver (D-34) getting the LG nod over Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35) by acknowledging the obvious: there are more Democratic Party votes in Essex than in Passaic. Murphy simply had to go with Essex.

“And John knows that,” the source said with a grin, referring to Passaic County Democratic Chairman John Currie, as the gym of Passaic County Community College very slowly amassed what finally looked like a serviceably full room of operatives, Murphy functionaries, and ambitious Democratic Party local and county officials delighted to be in close proximity to a future New Jersey governor.

“It’s bigger than me,” Sumter told InsiderNJ, when asked how she could show up to an event like Murphy’s town hall without feeling twinges of irritability. She didn’t sit with the Murphy-sticker-festooned front row crowd, however; a group that included an avidly room-working Freeholder John Bartlett, who’s running for Congress in the 11th District; Ward 6 Councilman Andre Sayegh, an early Murphy backer and possible 2018 mayoral candidate; Passaic County Freeholder Assad Akhter, who also may run for mayor next year; state Senator Nellie Pou (D-35); Passaic County Freeholder Director Sandi Lazzara; Paterson Councilwoman Maritza Davila; mayoral candidate Glenn Brown; and Passaic City Councilwoman Zaida Polanco; and handfuls of others.

Former Mayor Jones (right).

Freeholders Bruce James and T.J. Best strolled the scene, as did Paterson At-Large Councilman Alex Mendez, a 2018 mayoral candidate; and Manny Martinez, who’s also feeling out a mayoral run.

Paterson Democratic Party Co-Chair Al Abdel-Aziz was in the room.

At least one former mayor wasn’t overly impressed.

“It reminds me of Corzine 2.0,” said Jeff Jones, who served as Silk City chief exec. from 2010 to 2014, and who backed Jim Johnson in the Democratic Primary for Governor.

But the chatty and friendly and ruddy Murphy looked sufficiently robust at the center of the room as he shouted out people’s names early amid the promising sound of operatives unpacking another row or two of makeshift chairs, and the campaign gently tried to shore up a bruised Passaic.

 

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One response to “Murphy Extends a Friendly Town Hall Hand to Bruised Passaic County”

  1. That extended hand was reaching for their wallets as Murphy wants to increase taxes by $1.3 BILLION and refuses to say whether he will repeal the 2.0% tax cap which if repealed would devastate the already overtaxed middle class. All of this of course will drive more taxpayers and job creators out of NJ. The choice is simple, a guy who PROMISED to increase your taxes or someone who will fight to lower them.

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