Who’s Up and Who’s Down: Week of the Governor’s Budget Address


Who’s UP

John Currie

In Atlanta, the chairman of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee (and chairman of the Passaic County Democratic Committee) backed the winning horse in the national fight for a new party chairman: former Labor Secretary Tom Perez, who out-dueled U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison of Minnesota.

Chris Christie

Technically, he’s still way down, and has a long way to go to repair himself as he trudges toward 20% job approval rating. But the GOP governor this week received praise in the aftermath of his budget address this week for putting forward what veteran NJ Spotlight reporter John Reitmeyer described as “novel ideas, including one that would see lottery revenues redirected to the grossly underfunded public-employee pension system. He also called on Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield, the state’s largest health insurance company, to voluntarily contribute to his efforts to fund addiction services.”

Lonni Miller Ryan

First elected councilwoman in 2010 by a 61 percent margin and reelected in 2013, the longtime ally of former Assemblyman (now Judge) Scott Rumana won the backing this week of the local Republican Committee (and Passaic County GOP Chairman John Traier) in her Wayne mayoral bid by a vote of 52-20 over incumbent Mayor Chris Vergano.

Ritzy Moralez-Diaz

The veteran Bill Pascrell staffer from the city of Passaic received a promotion to District Manager in the congressman’s CD9 office this week.

Declan O’Scanlon

When slate mate Assemblywoman Amy Handlin dropped out of the senate contest this week, the 13th District Assemblyman pulled comfortably into the pole position to succeed state Senator Joe Kyrillos.

Joe Donohue

The deputy director of the state Elections Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) and former Star-Ledger politics reporter, who frequently wrote The Auditor, returned to work late last month after staring down a serious health challenge.

John Bingham and Demetrius Terry

The NJ College Democrats this week reelected the two young leaders respectively to serve as president and vice president of the organization’s executive committee.

Who’s DOWN

Tom Kean, Jr.

It’s chaos. With GOP primaries in LD24 and LD12 and LD40 and facing the prospect of status quo or losing a senate seat in LD7, the senate minority leader – in all-hands-on-deck party damage control mode now after seven years of Christie – must go all in now in LD2 to push Republican Assemblyman Chris Brown past Democratic Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo in the GOP quest to succeed the retiring Jim Whelan; in addition to trying to unite a badly fractured party.

Sam Thompson

The friendly senator from LD12 has a GOP Primary on his hands as energized GOP Chairman Bill Layton from Burlington prepares to oust the former Middlesex GOP chair from the senate with a full slate of primary challengers, as detailed in this great story by Politico’s Matt Friedman.

Anselmo Crisonino

The former senior accountant of the City of Bayonne Department of Community Development (CBDCD) heads off to 21 months in the can following sentencing. Crisonino previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan in Trenton federal court to a four-count information charging him with one count of accepting bribe payments totaling approximately $65,000 from Joseph Arrigo, the owner of a contracting company in Bayonne.

Chris Vergano

In what might be the denouement of a longstanding rivalry with former Assemblyman Rumana, Republican Twp. Committee denied its support his week to the incumbent GOP mayor in favor of Rumana ward Lonni Miller Ryan, see above.

Dave Jacobs and Tom Tsilionis

The disgraced Roseland local elected officials apparently rescinded their resignations from the governing body – and they’re still down.



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