“He’s running,” the South Jersey source told InsiderNJ, in reference to Montclair Mayor (and New Jersey Education Association President) Sean Spiller, as the above mailer sprang out of his mailbox.
The formation announcement this past fall of Protecting Our Democracy sent more than a ripple of interest through New Jersey’s political establishment.
As the jockeying among Democratic contenders for governor continues ahead of 2025, the newly formed 501(c)(4) promised “the launch of a robust campaign to defend against attacks on personal freedoms, restore confidence in government and unity in our country, and serve as a bulwark against attempts to undermine the institutions that underpin our democracy at all levels of government.”
If the Essex County-based player does indeed move forward with a run for governor (or other statewide office):
Will Spiller merely serve to chop up the North Jersey field, thereby increasing the chances of someone like Sweeney or Coughlin?
Whatever his best intentions, will he finally only serve to complicate the life of Essex County Democratic Chairman (and State Party Chairman) LeRoy Jones, a political enemy of Sweeney and South Jersey? Jones already has a significant 2025 challenge to grapple with if he indeed favors Mikie Sherrill to serve as governor, for Newark Mayor Ras Baraka has given every indication of running statewide in defiance of Jones trying to keep Essex unified.
Or can Spiller, on the strength of his positioning, relationship-building, power perch as NJEA prez, and local base as an elected official, penetrate and become more than a spoiler?
In any event, he has accelerated the process of making his face seen statewide, causing the insider class out there – if they hadn’t already – to draw conclusions about Spiller’s ambitions as he undertakes to “protect our democracy [which] doesn’t end on Election Day [see mailer above].”