Who’s Up and Who’s Down: The General Election Campaign Season Begins with InsiderNJ


Ryan Peters

Burlington County Republicans in the 8th District made it official Wednesday night as they closed ranks behind the Navy SEAL freeholder to succeed retiring Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg on the November ballot.

Colin Bell

LD2 Democrats Tuesday night ratified the Atlantic County Senate candidate to fill the vacancy created by the death last month of state Senator Jim Whelan (D-2). Running as “the incumbent,” former Freeholder Bell will more than have his hands full with warpaint-wearing Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-2).

Peter Murphy

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) will swear-in Colin Bell (see above), which will too require him to beckon LD40 Senator-elect Kristin Corrado to place her hand on the Good Book. That move will restore the Republican Moses of Totowa to power. Although always close to Passaic County Democratic Committee Chairman John Currie and the Passaic Dems, Corrado (Murphy) now will have senatorial courtesy all over Passaic and a significant number of Republican towns in Bergen.

Mike Francesa and Dick Codey

The actual sports talk show host with actual forensic and data driven analysis of sports appeared vindicated when the feds this week lit up pretender Carton on wire fraud charges. So did Dick Codey, who once challenged Carton to a fight after the radio nerd went after the acting governor’s wife.

Jim Tedesco

That’s the turnout-gear clad Bergen County Executive – up for reelection next year – in the picture at the top of this post. In the best tradition of public service, the former Paramus Mayor on Monday responded to a fire in his hometown.

Jun Choi

There was some poetic justice – Korean American style – this week – as acting U.S. Attorney Joon Kim slapped charges on radio blitherer Craig Carton, the same guy who spouted racist epithets at Edison Mayoral candidate Choi back in 2005.

Vic Cirillo

As the new Executive Director of the Newark Housing Authority, Cirillo now Captain Kirk’s the largest authority of its kind in the state of New Jersey.


Parker Space

They say three times make a pattern. So let’s see here. Posing with a Confederate Flag? One. A groundhog at his zoo named Stonewall Jackson? That’s two. A Confederate Flag tattooed on his arm? Three. What’s next with this guy, a white beard, saber, dress greys and a white horse mounted public declaration of “It is all my fault” to Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and the Assembly Republican Caucus? Through the blizzard of Dems trying to keep the focus on him as their own Democratic nomine for Governor tries to fight through the tax hike question, he’s fighting back. This afternoon, the Assemblyman from the 24th District sent a statement saying he’s retained legal counsel moving forward, arguing that his opponents are liable for defaming his business.

Glenn Brown
Running for Mayor of Paterson, the Democrat and former Police Director this week got zapped for no paid-for line on his web video ad.

Craig Carton

Formerly an antagonizing and mean-spirited “Jersey Guy” on 101.5 FM, the antagonizing and mean-spirited WFAN morning talk show stands accused of stealing $5.6 million from would-be investors, leading victims to believe they were investing in what was actually a fraud concert ticker broker business.

Joe DiVincenzo

First it was just whispers behind the scenes. Then a SWAT Team of ministers came out of the shadows and slapped the powerful Essex County Executive with a letter charging political interference at Essex County Community College. At the cusp of running for reelection in 2018, Joe D. must now handle the uprising – gently – so as to not fan the flames even as anti-establishment Democrat Jim Johnson of Montclair (who turned heads when he showed up at a Somerset County Federation of Democratic Women event Thursday evening) continues to hobnob with those same ministers.

Steven Castronova

The Republican West Milford Town Council Primary winner folded up his campaign and dropped out of the general election this week after getting zinged over the summer with charges of leaving the scene of an accident and driving into a parked car.

Kim Guadagno

She’s showing a pulse, and we appreciate her game face at the start of the week in Rutherford. But President Donald J. Trump’s decision to toss Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) punches the Guadagno-Rendo campaign in the solar plexus. The whole idea behind Guadagno picking Woodcliff Mayor Carlos Rendo was to play to the Hispanic vote in New Jersey, but Trump appears to be Cami Andersoning the Republican nominee for governor, stuffing a federal, nativist-base-sized grenade down the pants of his would-be New Jersey ally, who’s running in one of two gubernatorial contests nationwide this year. To be fair, her rival, Democrat Phil Murphy, fumbled a question about Bob Menendez and failed to really convince anyone of the moral authority of a terribly mildewed and compromised Democratic Party. But Guadagno – far behind in the gubernatorial contest – needs to take chunks out of Murphy – not just pepper him with jabs – while better minimizing the bruising damage of storylines like DACA, which, with Trump in charge, simply painfully lie beyond her control.

Bob Menendez

This won’t, evidently, be a cakewalk. At the start of the senior senator’s corruption trial this week, tough guy U.S. District Court Judge William H. Walls told Menendez’s lawyer to “shut up for a moment” as “the two engaged in a heated argument during the first moments of the New Jersey Democrat’s corruption trial,” according to this report in Politico. The trial also put Democratic gubernatorial candidate Murphy in a pickle as he attempted to dictate morality to Republicans in the same city where the U.S. Senator tries to fend off corruption charges.

Chris Christie

Judging by the amount of time he devoted to going on Carton’s WFAN morning radio show, the Governor of New Jersey seemed to be one of the guy’s biggest fans.


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