U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross’ (D-1) tour of Picatinny Arsenal today with U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-11) set off the usual round of speculation about why the South Jersey boss’s brother would set foot in Morristown.
- The machine is hoping to offload U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)- his presidential shot over at last – to the incoming Biden Administration and Norcross wants to get a head start on projecting statewide again. Of course, Booker’s departure and Norcross’ rise would play havoc with senate President Steve Sweeney’s (D-3) letter (issued a whole year earlier than usual) for an extended run on the senate throne. It would be tough to justify both Norcross and Sweeney simultaneously standing on statewide turf.
2. The Monmouth Poll showing Amy Kennedy leading U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-2) by five points indicates the need for South Jersey Democrats to build relationships elsewhere – fast. They were never tight with Sherrill – a non-controllable former helicopter pilot who didn’t depend on the party machine for her professional existence. So with the considerably financially prepared Kennedy – who kicked the machine in the teeth in the primary and remains resistant to Norcross World – supposedly ready to bump off Van Drew, it behooves South Jersey Dems to amp relations elsewhere. And why not Sherrill, who still retains some of the star power she exerted to give long-serving U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11) the heave-ho in 2018.
senate prez, then later called the statement “crazy”), and if indeed Booker leaves, Norcross makes the play and there’s too much inertia (and decayed professional interest) for the caucus to oppose Sweeney, why not recruit Sherrill to run for governor with Southern support? The murmuring is beginning in earnest about the weirdness of a supposedly inclusive party inflating three white dudes to run the state. If you’re South Jersey and your reputation’s already suffering and you want to try to hold onto Sweeney and give the young Norcross a shot at the U.S. Senate – if the play indeed includes that kind of chutzpah for expanding statewide power – why not get your fingerprints on the North with early Sherrill for Governor intentions? Keep Coughlin there. Keep Sweeney, of course. And dump sitting Governor Phil Murphy in exchange for rock star Sherrill. Make Murph walk the plank. Anyway, it’s a play, which consolidates machine power while making Murphy take the blame for too many inner circle Irish guys under the Gold Dome.
4. Um. It’s his job. He chairs the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Tactical Air and Land Forces. Picatinny is Morris County’s largest employer and the Department of Defense’s Joint Center of Excellence for Guns and Ammunition, providing products, services, and 90 percent of the lethal weapons to all branches of the U.S. military. It’s simply natural – and professionally alert – for him to venture up there to give a looksee.