JERSEY CITY – NO LG.
No Senate President.
In terms of its statewide power projection, Hudson staggered into the Phil Murphy Town Hall event last night looking bulked up with bar bodies, but somewhat politically toothless in the backrooms. Making matters worse, its godfather, U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ), stands trial for corruption charges, and presents punching bag opportunity for newly awakened Republican candidate Kim Guadagno, who trades almost at will now on the senator and taxes.
But while that has left suburban, battleground district Democrats cringing and irritated by the potential for a lost Nov. 7th opportunity for down-ballot GOP destruction, and put Murphy in the uncomfortable positon of saying “I haven’t really thought about” whether Menendez should resign if found guilty, Hudson Democrats embraced Menendez last night. Even as a gleeful Guadagno continues to try to drag Murphy into a Menendez mano a mano, Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) defiantly doubled down on the role of cornerman at last night’s town hall, winning cheers and fist bumps from the Casino in the Park crowd when he quoted the senior senator.
With Murphy seated behind him, the speaker was sure to mention that it was Menendez who had told and taught those veteran Democrats in the room to always run as if they are behind.
“As well he should,” a source told InsiderNJ. “Bob is Hudson. The speaker HAS to stand by Bob.”