WHO’S UP AND WHO’S DOWN: Week of the Frelinghuysen Retirement Announcement

GOP Congressmen

WHO’S UP

Bob Menendez

The senior senator from New Jersey has been to hell and back, and can now undertake a run for reelection unshackled by the corruption case that for three years unsteadied his political chances. Facing a hung jury outcome in his first trial and the bulk of the case tossed by a judge, the feds this week pulled the plug on their case.

Mikie Sherrill

Counselor Tamara Harris remains in the Democratic Primary in CD11, but Sherrill, a retired Navy helicopter pilot and former prosecutor, possesses Democratic organizational support and has the attentions of the DCCC. U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen’s (R-11) bow-out on Monday puts Sherrill in a strong position.

Andre Sayegh

The Paterson mayoral candidate pocketed the most money of the candidates running for mayor in the Silk City. Sayegh bagged more than $64,000 in contributions during the last three months of 2017. So far, he has raised $114,617 and spent $31,491 total, according to state Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) reports. That far outdistances former Deputy Mayor Pedro Rodriguez, who raised $76,200 and has $35,547 COH, according to ELEC. Also – former Police Director Glenn Brown quit his mayoral bid – and Brown’s former campaign manager backed Sayegh.

Clinton Calabrese

The scion of the Cliffside Park Calabrese clan collected the endorsements this week of both the Bergen and Passaic county committees in LD36 to position himself to succeed Acting Department of Insurance and Banking Commissioner Marlene Caride in the assembly and slate mate to Senator Paul Sarlo and Assemblyman Gary Schaer.

Tom Malinowski

In his quest to be the Democratic Party nominee in CD7, the former assistant secretary of state for John Kerry posted the strongest fundraising totals in the contest, exposing a weakness of frontrunner Linda Weber of Berkeley Heights as the candidates head toward a Sunday morning county convention in Hunterdon.

Al Barlas

Schooled by former Senator Kevin O’Toole (R-40), the Essex County Republican Chairman – in part on the strength of his close ties to Totowa GOP strongman Peter Murphy and his work as an ally of Senator Kristin Corrado (R-40) – positioned himself this cycle to be a significant difference-maker in the CD11 Republican Primary for the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11). While Morris attempts to resolve its internal differences (see below), Barlas and Murphy appear united. Oh, and that Wayne businessman (never a Barlas option) ruled out an NJ-11 bid, according to Save Jersey.

WHO’S DOWN

Adrian Mapp

Having backed state Senator Nick Scutari (D-22) to lead the Union County Democratic Committee, the Plainfield Mayor this week faced push back among his troops in the local Democratic Committee as he attempts to convince them of his wise intentions in backing Scutari over Acting Chair Colleen Mahr. Mapp insists he will be able to make that case at tomorrow’s scheduled meeting of the local committee.

John Traier

Wounded by his affiliation with Bergen County Republican Committee Chairman Paul DiGaetano and severely weakened by the reemergence of Peter Murphy in Totowa, the Passaic County GOP Chairman presents as basically a non-entity in the developing CD11 Republican Primary.

Morris County

The Republican county with no line must face the challenge of trying to pick a successor to retiring U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-11), and a lot of people appear interested in the seat. Morris hopefuls include state Senator Joe Pennacchio (R-26), Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26), Assemblyman Tony Bucco (R-25), Kate Whitman (daughter of former Governor Christie Todd Whitman), former Harding Mayor Nic Platt, Morris County Freeholder Tom Mastraneglo, and Morris County Freeholder Christine Myers. This situation is exacerbated by the fact that the relevant portions of Essex and Passaic – both of which have party lines – are working together.

GOP House Incumbents

They lost two of them already: LoBo and Rodney. Now the ones remaining face the prospect of Democratic challengers raising more money, in a state where support for President Donald J. Trump remains thin at best.

Bob Torricelli

Having once hoped to be in place as a northern option in the event that Menendez crumbled on corruption charges, the former U.S. Senator appears to have no pathway now that the feds dropped their case against the sitting senior senator.

Linda Weber

Having won the Democratic Party lines in Somerset and Essex counties, the CD7 hopeful faces fundraising questions alongside the substantially muscled up Malinowski (see above) as the candidates head toward a Sunday party convention in Hunterdon County.

Frank Gilliam

Members of the Atlantic City Democratic Committee today planned to consider a $10,000 campaign donation written to the committee but deposited in Mayor Frank Gilliam’s campaign account, according to the Press of Atlantic City. “The issue came up at a recent meeting of the Atlantic County Democratic Committee, which wrote the check to the city organization, said Durwood Pinkett, a city committee member who has questioned the handling of the check.”

Middlesex prosecutor Andrew Carey, Lodi BOE Member Eric Scotzetti and Jersey City BOE Prez Sughan Thomas

The first of these faces an ethics complaint. The second faces an ethics complaint by a fellow board member over the hiring of his girlfriend for a district job, and the third faces a lawsuit.

 

 

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