Who’s Up and Who’s Down: The Week of Craig Coughlin’s Essex County Endzone Dance



Craig Coughlin

Welcoming the Essex delegation to his corner, the 19th District Assemblyman – a Woodbridge attorney – nailed down a majority of caucus support toward his ascent as Speaker of the General Assembly.

George Norcross

Coughlin’s win showed the power the South Jersey Democratic pooh-bah continues to wield.

Kevin McCabe

The Chairman of the Middlesex County Democratic Committee muscled up as Essex joined forces with South Jersey and Middlesex to make Coughlin – a McCabe stable hand – speaker.

Ryan Peters

The Republican Burlington County Freeholder – a former Navy SEAL with combat experience – appears best positioned to succeed Assemblywoman Mara Rodriguez-Gregg as the assembly representative in LD8.

Eliana Pintor Marin

When Essex went to Coughlin for speaker, it bumped Ironbound diehard Pintor Marin (a protégé of Joe Parlavecchio) up to Budget Chair.

Reni Erdos

The former Democratic State Committee woman won InsiderNJ’s quiz this week when she correctly identified a tarmac photo of Governor Brndan Byrne, U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy and attendant insiders.

Steve Fulop

Running for reelection as mayor of Jersey City, Fulop earlier this week sealed the coveted endorsement of state Senator Sandy Cunningham (D-31).


Vinny Prieto

The Speaker of the General Assembly – and Hudson County Democratic Organization chairman – all but tapped out as Essex went with South Jersey and Middlesex to coronate Coughlin as speaker.

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

Once a Republican rising star, the Assemblywoman of LD8 decided not to pursue reelection in Burlington County.

Parker Space

The LD24 Republican from Sussex County found himself fighting Democrats statewide as he attempted to defend his decision to post a picture of himself with the Confederate Flag on Facebook.

Lou Stellato

The Bergen County Democratic Chairman appears less than muscled as the deal for legislative leadership zigzagged around the mammoth – and massively politically fractured – Bergen.


They just don’t look strong, let’s face it. Space makes the brand look like it has a Copperhead hangover, Rodriguez-Gregg’s career ended this week (hopefully just for the moment), and Christie continues to poll at 16% in key battleground districts.

Bob Menendez

He’s battling, and, by God, innocent until proved guilty, but now in addition to fighting off corruption charges, the sitting U.S. Senator must weather the uptick of party intrigue about who will succeed him.


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