WHO’S UP AND WHO’S DOWN: Week of the Cotton Ascendancy/Descendancy in Paterson


Ruby Cotton

Even though on Friday evening the City Council voted to replace her with Jane Williams Warren, the former City Clerk, Council President Cotton still holds the claim to becoming the first African American woman in the city’s history to serve as mayor

Jane Williams-Warren

The former City Clerk was voted in as interim mayor at a special council meeting late Friday night in Paterson, replacing Council President Ruby Cotton. 

Phil Murphy

Most insiders in both parties freely opine that the Democratic gubernatorial candidate’s public statement about $1.3 billion in new revenues gave Republican Kim Guadagno more than enough daylight to punch away, which say continues to do with panache, both in ads and in person, but a Suffolk University poll this week still shows Murphy firmly in command.

Colin Bell

No one gives the guy a chance against a hard-charging Assemblyman Chris Brown (R-2), which is why a Stockton University Poll today showing a dead heat in the race for the late Jim Whelan’s senate seat comes as good news for the underdog (and South Jersey Democrat-connected) Bell.

Jen Beck

Running for reelection against businessman Vin Gopal in the battleground district of the year, the incumbent Republican state senator in LD11 welcomed former Governor Tom Kean, Sr. and Senate Republican Leader Tom Kean, Jr. to the district, who together with retiring state Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) raised her campaign $200,000.

Fran Grenier

No one seems to believe that the Salem factory worker will actually dethrone powerful Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), but a public endorsement by U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2) this week appeared to give the upstart Republican some establishment GOP chops. LoBo on the team means Grenier is no longer simply a functionary of a wigged-out NJEA. We still believe Sweeney wins this race by at least five or six points.

Ray Martinez

President Donald J. Trump this week nominated the chairman and chief administrator of the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to lead the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.

Mary Melfi

The Hunterdon County Clerk once again led a successful Atlantic City Harrah’s conference of the Constitutional Officers of New Jersey.

Cathleen Bennett  

The head of the state’s health department will leave Trenton to lead the New Jersey Hospital Association, the powerful lobbying organization for some 400 hospitals and medical providers, according to this report in NJ Advance Media.

Desiree Peterkin Bell

Cory Booker’s former communications director – who went to work for then-Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter prior to Booker giving up the Newark mayoralty to run for the U.S. Senate in 2013 – has co-authored a best-selling book.


Jose “Joey” Torres

The former mayor of Paterson took the government’s proffered plea deal of five years in prison without parole and forfeiture of his office. This past Monday morning marked his last hours in office before he handed the reins of government to Council President (now Acting Mayor) Ruby Cotton.

Steven Fulop

He’ll win, or so it appears in a bore-snore citywide reelection campaign, but the Jersey City Mayor took a strong forearm to the midsection in this Politico New Jersey piece by veteran reporter Matt Friedman.

Rob Hermansen

The Mahwah Council President made a very ugly Facebook comment to Susan Yudin, the wife of former Bergen GOP Chairman Bob Yudin, sparking an intraparty spat – the last thing the incumbent Republicans need in Prieto-targeted LD39.

Ernest Parrey, Jr.

The Trenton chapter of the NAACP wants the Trenton Police Director to resign or “Mayor Eric Jackson to fire him following three recent incidents involving the director or police officers,” according to NJ Advance Media.

Joe Longo

The Belleville Councilman’s absences finally caught up with him, forcing him to resign.

Anthony Marano

Local cops busted the Jackson Zoning Board on child porn charges, telling him to drop a loaded gun before taking him into custody.

Hispanics in Public Office

Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg’s (R-8) decision not to pursue reelection again, Senator Bob Menendez’s (D-NJ) ongoing corruption trial, a bruised Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) and a prison-scrubs-ready Jose “Joey” Torres hardly made the NJ Hispanic community of elected officials look ready for prime time.


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