WHO’S UP AND WHO’S DOWN: Week of the Latest CD2 and CD7 Polls

Van Drew

UP

Jeff Van Drew

The Democratic state Senator running for a CD2 seat appears to be cruising to victory over movement conservative Republican Seth Grossman, according to a Stockton Poll this week, which shows Van Drew up by 23 points.

Phil Murphy

The Murphy Administration this week reached a health care benefits agreement with labor groups,

Murphy

including the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA)a cost-cutting deal that will save the state and local governments nearly half a billion dollars ($496 million) in savings, the Governor announced. The agreement includes $274 million in savings in the coming plan year for health care costs for public employees and retirees and another $222 million in year 2020 from the adoption of Medicare Advantage for both SHBP and SEHBP retirees and introduction of a new health plan focused on in-network care. The reforms were passed today through a committee-level vote on the Schools Employees’ Health Benefits Program (SEHBP) Plan Design Committee (PDC). The plan is scheduled for a final vote by the School Employees’ Health Benefits Commission (SEHBC) on Wednesday, September 19th.

Holly Schepisi

The 39th District Republican Assemblywoman reacted to the news from Politico this week about Marcellus Jackson with a no-nonsense announcement of plans to introduce legislation banning public officials convicted of corruption from holding jobs with state and local governments. “I believe in second chances,” said Schepisi, “but not when it comes to putting corrupt politicians in positions of public trust. This is a case about public bribery.”

Tom Malinowski

A Monmouth University Poll this morning shows the Democratic challenger – a former assistant secretary of state in the Obama Administration – leading incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-7).

Kevin McArdle

The former baseball shortstop – and former crack 101.5 FM reporter – landed a new gig this week as communications director for the Assembly Majority Office.

Maggie Moran

The longstanding Democratic Party operative from New Jersey had taken a leave of absence from Kivvit to run Governor Andrew Cuomo’s primary campaign, resulting in a 30+ point victory in an anti-incumbent atmosphere. Not bad.

Janice Fields 

The veteran GOP State Committeewoman from Somerset County started at her new position as director of Community Relations for Jersey First.

Carlos Valencia

Following a challenge to the local election results, a judge this week reaffirmed Colombian immigrant Valencia the winner – by 12 votes – of Dover’s 4th Ward Democratic Primary. The win was also another big win for local Democratic Chairman Edward Correa, who supported the Dover First ticket that included Valencia, and is a potential challenger next year to Mayor James P. Dodd. Correa in June took over the county committee, pulled Dodd people to his side, and now can reassert bragging rights to having won all four ward seats in the primary.

Michele Jaker 

Formerly the chief of staff of state Senator Joe Vitale (D-19), veteran operative Jaker – most recently head of government relations for Horizon – this week joined MBI-GluckShaw as a partner.

DOWN

Marcellus Jackson

His hiring by the Murphy Administration arguably hits Murphy more squarely than it hits the damaged former Passaic City Councilman, but the Governor had the healthcare savings agreement announcement this week that landed him on his feet albeit with an imperfect landing (See above).

Dianthe Martinez-Brooks

The former political consultant received four months in jail for her role in a fraud caper related to contracts with the Newark Watershed Corporation.

Mahwah Township

Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal announced this week that the State and Mahwah Township entered into a settlement agreement that resolves a lawsuit brought by the State in 2017 after Mahwah adopted two allegedly discriminatory ordinances — one banning non-residents from using Mahwah’s public parks, the other banning the posting of “lechis” on utility poles located within the municipality.  Lechis are plastic strips that denote the boundaries of an eruv used by Sabbath-observant Orthodox Jews. Mahwah repealed the two ordinances in the state’s original complaint against the township and agreed not to adopt any future ordinances that impose similar, discriminatory restrictions. Under the settlement, pending final review, Mahwah is liable for a suspended payment to the state of $350,000. Liability for the payment will be vacated within four years, provided the township engages in no unlawful conduct during that time. It sounds like a slap on the wrist, but it’s a humiliating embarrassment.

Catherine McCabe

Catherine McCabe

Amid ongoing rumors of the end of her tour of duty as head of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Sierra Club Executive Director Jeff Tittel described an atmosphere of “severe anxiety” around the agency’s current management structure.

Leonard Lance

Make no mistake, it’s a dogfight in CD7. He could pull it off, of course, and given the unreliability of polling, maybe the incumbent congressman isn’t troubled at all by today’s Monmouth University Poll. But it does show him losing right now. At the very least, the poll shows that CD7 is a close election and identifies Lance as a Trump-encumbered incumbent trying to fend off a credible challenger.

Hirsh Singh, left, and Grossman.

Seth Grossman

It was probably over when he won the primary. Or when the GOP establishment cut the deal to try to front-end load Hirsh Singh. Or when Grossman called diversity a “bunch of crap.” Or when… Ah, what’s the difference. We’re not really paying as much attention anymore after this, given what appears to be a much more competitive race in CD7.

Ronald Camacho

The incumbent Democratic Councilman (a former Republican who switched parties in 2015) – attached to the Mayor James P. Dodd regime – had requested a vote recount in Dover, but came up short this week when a judge ruled in favor of challenger Carlos Valencia (see above). Camacho’s loss seared the mayor, too, who’s up for reelection next year.

Paul Anton Wright

The feds this week indicted the Fort Dix corrections officer with two counts of agreeing to accept and accepting bribes – in exchange for allegedly delivering contraband to inmates – and other charges.

Bergen County Sheriff Mike Saudino

On the heels of a WNYC report on Thursday, Governor Murphy called for the Sheriff’s resignation, as Bergen Democrats assess the situation.  The report alleges that the Sheriff was caught on audio saying of Governor Murphy’s inaugural address that ‘he talked about the whole thing, the marijuana, sanctuary state…better criminal justice reform. Christ almighty, in other words let the blacks come in, do whatever the fuck they want, smoke their marijuana, do this do that, and don’t worry about it. You know, we’ll tie the hands of cops’ and gripes that Murphy appointed state Attorney General Grewal solely because of “the turban’.  Later in the afternoon, the calls for Saudino to go grew, as Bergen Executive Tedesco called on Saudino to step down, followed by BCDO Chairman Lou Stellato. Attorney General Grewal said Saudino should ‘resign immediately’ if the Sheriff is the voice on the audio.   

 

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