The race to replace outgoing NJ Senator Loretta Weinberg is in the home stretch. Tomorrow, Tuesday June 8, Bergen County primary voters will chose Valerie Huttle or Gordon Johnson as Weinberg’s likely replacement. The Huttle Campaign staged a vigorous and energetic GOTV rally headlined by, among others, Sue Altman, the director of NJ Working Families, a grassroots-centric liberal organization that’s often at odds with NJ’s political machines.
In a sign of some post-COVID normality, after Huttle’s weekend rally, volunteers and boosters masked up and hit the streets to canvass the old fashioned way.
“Today’s rally was energizing,” Ms. Altman told InsiderNJ. “Labor, advocates and volunteers coming together to repudiate the tired, old, male-dominated power structure in NJ. Huttle has run a great campaign and while she’ll likely be outspent by a large margin by the flashy new Sweeney – Norcross PAC , we are feeling good about a victory Tuesday. She’s just hands down the better candidate; our ticket is by far the more qualified choice. And I think voters in Bergen county are pretty savvy.”
Steven Goldstein founded Garden State Equality, NJ’s largest LGBT rights organization.
“There’s no question who is the more effective Assembly member or who would make the better Senator,” Mr. Goldstein told InsiderNJ. “Behind the scenes, most of Gordon’s supporters admit that’s Valerie hands down. The only question is whether the party machine will prop up Gordon to victory. I don’t think the machine will succeed — everyone in the district knows Valerie and few know Gordon, not even after all these years.”
The “machine” he’s referring to is Camden County’s Democratic Committee who favor Mr. Johnson over Ms. Huttle despite the fact that Camden County is an hour+ from tomorrow’s Bergen County scrum. American Democratic Majority is a Camden Machine-adjacent SuperPAC that’s donated heavily to help Mr. Johnson seal the win. The SuperPAC, staffed by loyalists to party boss George Norcross, recently filed notice with NJ ELEC outlining 6-figure expenditures for Mr. Johnson for pro-Johnson and anti-Huttle TV ads and mailers.
Until redistricting, NJ’s 37th Legislative district includes Alpine, Bogota, Cresskill, Englewood, Englewood Cliffs, Fort Lee, Hackensack, Leonia, Northvale, Palisades Park, Rockleigh, Teaneck and Tenafly in Bergen County.
Jay Lassiter is an award-winning writer and podcaster who’s spending Pride Month reminding the world that marijuana reform is an extension of AIDS activism. He doesn’t vote in Bergen County but if he did, he’d vote for Valerie Huttle.