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Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

No politics in Oliver grants (seriously)

10 of 20 Neighborhood Preservation Program grants go to South Jersey

By David Wildstein, July 31 2019 4:01 pm

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Acting Gov. Sheila Oliver today announced the award of Neighborhood Preservation Program grants that show no evidence of taking sides in the political war between Gov. Phil Murphy and Democratic legislative leaders, or even of partisan politics.

Of the 20 municipalities that received $125,000 grants from the Department of Community Affairs headed by Oliver, half of them went to South Jersey towns where legislators have been at odds with Murphy.

One grant went to Perth Amboy, which is represented by Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin.  Another $125,000 went to New Brunswick, in Coughlin’s home county.  Gloucester County, Senate President Steve Sweeney’s base, received two grants – Glassboro and Woodbury – which are outside Sweeney’s legislative district.

Six of the South Jersey towns are in three districts where incumbents face reasonably strong challenges for re-election: District 1, where State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak (D-Middle) and Assemblymen Bruce Land (D-Vineland) and Matthew Milam (D-Vineland) are looking to hold their seats; in the 2nd district, where Democrats Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) and John Armato (D-Buena) are seeking re-election; and in the 8th, where Republican Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) is being targeted by Democrats.

Mazzeo and Armato get to piggyback Oliver’s announcements for Egg Harbor City and Pleasantville – so can Republican State Sen. Chris Brown (R-Ventnor) – and Peters and Democratic State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) get to say they delivered for Hammonton and Mount Holly, if they want to.  The same goes for Andrzejczak, Land and Milam for Cape May City and Millville.

Oliver also sent $125,000 to her hometown of East Orange, the political base of Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr.

Jones is running for Democratic State Chairman later this year against incumbent John Currie.  Murphy is backing Currie and Oliver supports Jones.

Passaic County, where Currie is chairman, received grants for Paterson and the City of Passaic.

Oliver July 31 2019
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