WHO’S UP AND WHO’S DOWN: Going, Going… Lagana

WHO’S UP

Craig Coughlin

The Speaker had a productive Thursday, which included powering through the out-of-network consumer protection bill he craved. It was a good showing early by the new leader of the Assembly.

Joe Lagana 

The former Council President from Paramus took the oath of office in the Senate chamber to succeed former Senator Bob Gordon, also affirmed this week to depart to the BPU. Now Lagana – with the retirement too of slate mate Assemblyman Tim Eustace – has clearance to remake the 38th Legislative District in his image. Fair Lawn Mayor Lisa Swain and Bergenfield Council President Arvin Amatorio have legs up on the assembly seats.

Mikie Sherrill

Republicans are fighting in CD11, the FBI raided the law offices of President Donald J. Trump’s attorney, former FBI Director James Comey says Trump runs the White House with no regard for ethics or the truth, and the CD11 Democrat had a great fundraising quarter as she attempts to spear the congressional seat being vacated by retiring U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11).

Pedro Mejia

The newest Assemblyman from the 32nd District – the replacement for retired former Speaker Vincent Prieto – this week assumed the oath of office. How long will it take him to become the next speaker?

Bob Menendez

Up for reelection this year, the senior senator from New Jersey holds a 21-point lead over GOP challenger Bob Hugin, according to a Monmouth University Poll. He’s also doing well on the fundraising front, having hauled $1.8 million this quarter.

Jon Bramnick

Attempting to “Rally the Reasonable” even as Speaker Paul Ryan announced his retirement from Congress and former Governor Chris Christie predicted GOP losses, the Assembly Republican Leader raised $175K at his comedy show.

Megan Coyne

On Saturday, the College Democrats of New Jersey hosted their 5th Annual Convention at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and reorganization of its executive leadership, electing Coyne of Rutgers-New Brunswick as the organization’s first ever female president.

Andre Sayegh

Paterson’s Ward 6 Councilman continues to wage a strong conventional campaign for mayor, picking up the teacher’s union endorsement and enjoying the largess of a $1K-per plate fundraising organized by Bill Pascrell III. He also landed the backing of the Operating Engineers.

John Currie

Democratic Party Chairman Currie scored a part-time $92K job with the Passaic County Board of Social Services “to help get the word out to the public about welfare benefits,” according to Richard Cowen of NorthJersey.com.

WHO’S DOWN

The GOP

It’s bad. Ryan’s retiring, joining the likes of Frelinghuysen and U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo. Trump has an FBI problem, not only here, but here. Trump’s leadership brand has spawned the worst impulses of anarchy feared by those in the party who tried to stop him in 2016.

Lamont Repollet

Amid funding questions about schools and particularly school funding, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) this week held the nomination of Governor Phil Murphy’s choice to head the Department of Education. Sweeney also put Secretary of Higher Education nominee Zakiya Smith-Ellis on pause.

Hank Lyon

The former Morris County Freeholder looked all ready to go back to Morristown, but – without warning – aborted his run for freeholder on the Smith-Krickus ticket.

O’Neal Thomas 

The Linden Clerk this week bounced the Linden Council candidate running on a ticket with mayoral candidate Gretchen Hickey.

Brian Fitzherbert

As first reported by Harry Hurley, Trenton Assignment Judge Carl Buck this week ejected the CD2 Republican candidate from the field of hopefuls on a petitions challenge undertaken by Fitzherbert rival Hirsh Singh.

The Term ‘Freeholder’

We appeared to be close to losing yet another hand hold on the past this week, as the Senate passed a bill by a vote of 27-4 to mandate renaming County Freeholders to County Commissioners. We alone have the distinction of 21 counties among the nation’s 3,047 that field county leaders who  bear the title “Freeholder.” By comparison, commissioner sounds, well, very West New York. Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Transparency

New Jersey lawmakers had no publicly available records of sexual harassment claims or punishment over the past decade when the Associated Press filed records requests with the legislative chambers in every state — including New Jersey — seeking information on the number of sexual misconduct or harassment complaints. The reason? The Legislature is broadly exempted from the state’s records law. 

Tiffanie Fisher 

The Hoboken Democratic Party voted out the local party chair, as reported here by the Hudson County View.

Felix Roque

West New York Mayor Roque lost a challenge of petitions of nomination for committee candidates running on the Hudson County Democratic Organization line filed by Public Affairs Commissioner Cosmo Cirillo, according to the Hudson County View.

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