Shouldering South Jersey in a Middlesex-Oxygenated World

Assemblyman Burzichelli

Having sat on the rest of the state politically for nearly two decades, South Jersey Democrats fretted over Middlesex getting too big and too craven. They want it all, a source told InsiderNJ, in reference to Middlesex and Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe.

They had gone to war a few times here lately, and well, Middlesex steamrolled them, with the whole state watching, and South Jersey didn’t think that was healthy for New Jersey, or at least for business, or at least South Jersey business.

The trouble was their power had dwindled as a consequence of multiple losses, and the situation looked grim in a legislative election year. On the existing map, Republican Senator Mike Testa (1) could reign for life (or anyway for ten years, until the next scheduled redistricting).

Republican Senator Vince Polistina (R-2) looked equally strong over in Atlantic County.


No one seemed overly eager.

Too many accumulated beatdowns.

Even worse, state Senator Fred Madden (D-4) hardly radiated animalistic designs on his own reelection.

It seemed downbeat, and lacking in urgency, the entire atmosphere around LD-4.

Maybe former Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3) represented South Jersey Democrats’ best hopes for semi-reanimation, as the consummate lawmaker mulled over a challenge of incumbent state Senator Ed Durr (R-3), the Trump-friendly toppler of Steve Sweeney.

Sweeney, it seems, would be comfortable continuing to appear up North, in a bid for 2025 governor, which looked like late-game professional theatrics at best, especially with Middlesex constantly sending signals that by “going for it all”, they might throw Speaker Craig Coughlin (D-19) off the statewide high diving board.

Coughlin – not Sweeney – would be that establishment-molded, difficult-to-get-primary-voters-excited-about-government-experienced-whatever-that-means-private-sector-labor-sympathetic “guy.”

Not Sweeney.

Sweeney was from South Jersey, and Middlesex, not South Jersey, represented the centerpiece of the state’s political fortunes.

South Jersey?

Maybe the best they could do was hope Democratic State Party Chairman LeRoy Jones (and McCabe, for that matter, and Coughlin) understood the opportunity to get rid of the Trump-fangled burr of Durr by reactivating a genuinely well-liked and respected brand name like filmmaking special effects guru and fire engine collector Burzichelli.

Coming off the resounding gong-ring of Brian Hughes’ loss to Dan Benson, South Jersey seemed intent on precisely that pivot.

But simultaneously, they voiced another concern; again, namely identifying the importance of spreading around power so Middlesex didn’t become, well, for lack of a better term, the Central Jersey version of South Jersey.

Middlesex is as powerful now as it was in the John Lynch era, a source told InsiderNJ – with some sense of dismay.

He stopped short of saying only South Jersey could – or should – wield South Jersey-like power, while dubiously regarding the inflated fortunes of Middlesex and what it might mean in terms of the next Trenton triumvirate, and in the meantime, sounded the excitement factor – amid all the wreckage – for Burzichelli down in LD-3.

If Middlesex didn’t want to pitch in to help the former assemblyman, maybe other counties would, to redistribute power, the source suggested, to prevent Middlesex hubris – if only two decades of South Jersey dominance – and yes, hubris – didn’t too harshly pervade their political consciences. If not for South Jersey, “For John,” the source said.

(Visited 1,854 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

News From Around the Web

The Political Landscape