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Morris can trade with Essex

By David Wildstein, January 30 2018 2:23 pm

Speculation that Essex County Republicans will trade their influence over a congressional seat to get an Essex County person in the 26th Assembly seat is a little unrealistic.  If the Essex/Passaic alliance wants to play in the contest for Rodney Frelinghuysen’s seat, then they will – Al Barlas and Peter Murphy play chess, never checkers.  It’s not like they’re a bunch of cats chasing some shiny object.

The problem with the theory of a trade for an Essex legislator is that State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and Assemblyman Jay Webber lack the ability to make such a deal.  Legislative vacancies are filled by votes of the full County Committee, and in Morris County where the lineless chairman is traditionally weak, there is no real power to enforce any agreement.

The presumption is that it’s an Assembly seat – that if Pennacchio were to somehow get the nomination, Webber would move up – it would be Webber, not Betty Lou DeCroce – and the deal would need to be kept at the second special election convention.

If Morris County Republicans were serious about keeping the congressional seat –and to be clear, I’ve found nothing in the State Constitution that requires that – then they would offer Essex the 26th district Senate seat.  That’s a meaningful offer for Essex. It’s not clear if Essex cares that much about sending someone from Fairfield, North Caldwell, Verona or West Caldwell to the Assembly.

Last thing: if Essex County really wanted an Assembly seat for Fairfield, North Caldwell, Verona or West Caldwell, they would have made a deal in 2017 with Webber and thrown DeCroce off their line.  West Milford, in Passaic County, is also in the district; coincidentally, that’s one of the  towns under Murphy’s domain.

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One thought on “Morris can trade with Essex

  1. So if the NJ GOP is to come back they need to win 6 seats in the Senate as well protect their current 15. District 1 may very well come back if Van Drew goes to DC. That leaves several things they need in redistricting:

    1) A seat in SW Jersey that is winnable especially if Sweeney goes to DC
    2) Unpacking the 12th into 14 to make 14 more competitive.
    3) Some sort of combination around East Brunswick, Sayreville and northern Monmouth.
    4) Another seat in Bergen likely combining GOP areas in 36 and 38 and maybe grabbing Nutley.
    5) This area. Putting a GOP Senator now based in West Essex means they can create a new seat with the more Republican parts of Codeys district and parts of 26/40.

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