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Special Edition: June 2018 Primary Election

By David Wildstein, June 08 2018 3:48 am

 

Special Edition: June 2018 Primary Election
The Year of the Ground Game
(Editor’s Note: Most names are listed in alphabetical order.  For the most part, candidates who won an election are not listed as winners and those who were unsuccessful are not among the losers — that kind of list would demonstrate a severe lack of creativity.  Instead, this list is about those who benefit or suffer because of the outcome of an election.)
Winner Losers
PHIL ALAGIA  HENRY KISSINGER
The legendary Democratic strategist and chief of staff to the Essex County Executive ran the campaign for Joe DiVincenzo’s bid to control the Roseland Democratic party and won 8 of 12 seats with direct mail and a strong ground game. The former U.S. Secretary of State doesn’t influence the world like he did in the 1970’s: his late endorsement of Peter DeNeufville for Congress doesn’t seem to excite many voters in the 11th district.
DANNI ARMSTEAD MITCHELL COBERT
The First Lady of Linden is the behind-the-scenes powerhouse for her husband’s political career and directed the strategy that helped him score a big win in a tough Democratic primary. The former deputy state attorney general got 876 votes — the least number of votes of any congressional candidate in the state. It translated into 3.33 votes for every signature he got on his nominating petition.
HILARY BADGER RICHARD CODEY
Mikie Sherrill’s finance director has helped the Democratic nominee for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district raise millions for what had been a safe Republican seat for the last 34 years. The former governor ran a campaign for control of the Roseland Democratic party and came away with four of twelve seats.  But his son, Kevin Codey, is the committeeman-elect for the 1st district of Roseland.
MIKE BESON MATT CONLON
The Ocean Township Democratic chairman managed the successful campaign of Josh Welle for the Democratic nomination for Congress in the 4th district. The West Milford Republican Municipal Chairman gets wiped out, with most of his county committee losing their seats, as well as some of his councilmen.
MOLLIE BINOTTO BETTY LOU DECROCE
The campaign manager for Mikie Sherrill’s 11th district House race guides her first-time candidate to a 78% win in the Democratic primary, assembling a well-financed, volunteer-driven grass roots campaign that was able to bank most of their money for the general. Jay Webber’s State Assembly running mate endorses Tony Ghee for Congress and then sees her candidate finish third with 12% in her hometown of Parsippany.
JONATHAN CASTANEDA PABLO FONSECA
The West New  York Democratic Municipal Chairman flips from Felix Roque to Cosmo Cirillo and wins 85% of county committee seats.  To the extent that he was involved… The former Cory Booker chief of staff ran the ground game for Felix Roque’s slate of county committee candidates in West New York.
JULIUS COLTRE GEORGE GILMORE
The ex-Newark cop learned the art of suburban retail politics as he secured another term as Roseland Democratic Municipal Chairman by beating one of the best campaigners in the business, Dick Codey.  And he stopped Alagia from running sound trucks up and down Eagle Rock Avenue.  The Ocean County Republican Chairman loses his mayor and entire council in Stafford Township, and his hand-picked congressional candidate, Hirsh Singh, is defeated.
EDWARD CORREA ANN GROSSI
The Hispanic activist and organizer ran the Dover First campaign that swept Alderman and County Committee seats, taking over the local Democratic party from a white mayor in a town that is 69.4% Hispanic. The embattled Morris County Clerk loses re-election to her Republican County Committee seat in her home district in Parsippany.  
GIANCARLO GHIONE VALERIE HUTTLE
The executive director of the Bergen County Republican Organization played a key role in John McCann beating Steve Lonegan and the GOP organization candidates for county executive and freeholder winning. The Bergen Assemblywoman see’s her husband’s hand-picked candidate for Englewood mayor lose.  With rival Gordon Johnson backing the winner, it’s a set back for her political ambitions in district 37.
JOSH
GOTTHEIMER
MAYORS WHO HAVE BEEN AROUND A WHILE
The Human Fundraising Machine runs unopposed for renomination and now faces a Republican who finished a nasty, divisive primary with no money or party unity. The loss of Dave DelVecchio after 27 years as mayor of Lambertville — and 28-year mayor Adam Schneider of Long Branch in May — plus defeats of incumbents in Stafford and Garwood (and maybe Palisades Park) should send up a red flag to other longtime mayors running again in November.
SETH GROSSMAN BROCK MCLEARY
The former Atlantic County freeholder hasn’t won an election since 1988, but runs his own campaign that topped the GOP establishment to become the Republican nominee for Congress in the 2nd district. The pollster for Peter DeNeufville’s congressional campaign underestimated Tony Ghee’s strength and the value of the organization line.
GORDON JOHNSON ILEANA MONTES
The Assembly Speaker Pro-Tempore picks winners: Murphy for governor, Coughlin for speaker, and now Michael Wildes for mayor.   The former director of the NJ Division on Women wins a write-in primary for council in Mountainside, home of Dildogate.
NED MILLER GEORGE MOUDED
The campaign manager for Jeff Van Drew for Congress gets his candidate through a primary that was more competitive than was initially expected. The Union County insurance broker is likely to lose the Linden account now that Mayor Derek Armstead won the Democratic nomination for re-election to a second term.
MIKE MULLER BILL PALATUCCI
The veteran Democratic consultant shepherded Jeff Van Drew through the 2nd district Democratic primary.  The Republican National Committeeman forced Hirsh Singh on South Jersey to clear the field for Bob Hugin, because he believed Singh had $2 million to spend. 
NJ 11
FOR CHANGE
ARLENE QUINONES PEREZ
The grassroots group set out to change the political landscape in the 11th district and get a new congressman: they accomplished their mission on Tuesday with the nomination of two candidates not named Rodney Frelinghuysen. The Hunterdon County Democratic Chair pushed for the re-election of Lambertville mayor David DelVecchio and lost.
KARI OSMOND PROGRESSIVES
The Democratic strategist and congressional staffer managed the campaign of her wife for mayor of Lambertville, one of the best in the state so far in 2018. They lost any chance to nominate a liberal Democrat for Congress in the 2nd district when progressives failed to clear the field behind a single contender — so three candidates split 45%.
COLSTON REID FELIX ROQUE
The campaign manager for Tom Malinowski in the 7th had a chance to run an incumbent’s re-election, but decided she wanted to flip a district.  She scored victories at five county conventions, and got her candidate to the 67% mark in a three-way Democratic primary. The mayor of West New York got shellacked in his bid to keep control of the local Democratic organization.  
STACY SCHUSTER HIRSH SINGH
The longtime GOP operative quietly managed Bob Hugin’s U.S. Senate campaign that moved immediately into general election mode and still won 75% of the vote in the Republican primary. The  33-year-old engineer lost his bid to succeed Frank LoBiondo in the Republican primary for Congress in the 2nd district — his second loss in two years, after winning 10% in his bid for the 2017 Republican gubernatorial nomination.  Singh spent $1 million in that race, taking advantage of a loophole in state campaign finance laws that allowed his father to loan money to his campaign because he still lives at home with his parents.   He initially entered the race for U.S. Senate, pledging to spend $2 million in the Republican primary.  That spooked some party leaders, like Bill Palatucci, who worried that Singh would force Hugin to spend money on the primary, instead of moving into general election mode after securing party endorsements.  Those party leaders pushed Singh on South Jersey Republicans as a way of clearing the field for Hugin.  Singh never really connected with Republicans, losing votes for organization lines in Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties.  Some of the people who publicly supported him privately said they wouldn’t vote for him.   His campaign hit a rough patch when he missed the deadline to file his personal financial disclosure.  “I’m trying to get it done soon,” Singh said.  “Haven’t had a chance yet.”  When he did, he joked around on the form about his Roulette winnings in Atlantic City and used a smiley face.  But what really pissed Republican leaders off was the disclosure that Singh had no money of his own and had no ability to self-finance.  Essentially, he bluffed Bill Palatucci and George Gilmore into handing him four organization lines for an open seat the Republicans held for 24 years. Federal election law would not allow Singh’s father to contribute more than $2,700 in the primary — something the GOP establishment ought to have known. Singh had little to spend on his campaign — although he had more than his rivals.  In the end, he lost by 2,200 votes — 39%-31%, to former Atlantic County freeholder Seth Grossman,  
SHERRILL VOLUNTEERS 
All volunteers on 2018 campaigns for both parties should be commended for their involvement, but Twitter showed an unusually high level of activity for local groups and people committed to Mike Sherrill for Congress.
JUSTIN SHOHAM
The Democratic consultant had a strong primary season working with Michael Wildes for mayor.
ALBIO SIRES
The Hudson County congressman showed he still understands retail politics by personally taking control of the West New York county committee campaign.
PHIL SWIBINSKI
The Democratic consultant, coming of an undefeated May, scored a huge win in Bergen County as the media and strategy consultant for mayoral candidate Michael Wildes.  
PHIL VALENZIANO
The New Jersey native who became a top GOP operative in Iowa and now returned home to manage Jay Webber’s winning campaign for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district.
LARRY WEITZNER
The longtime Republican media consultant won races for U.S. Senate candidate Bob Hugin and congressional candidate Jay Webber.
RYAN YACCO
The Hoboken operative shifted to Bergen County as campaign manager for Michael Wildes for mayor in Englewood.
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3 thoughts on “Special Edition: June 2018 Primary Election

  1. Last time I checked, Joe Hadden was the GOP Chairman in Ocean Township. Mr. Beson is the Democratic Chair. I trust you’ll put me on the “Winners” list when Chris Smith wins in November.

  2. Also worth noting that DeCroce endorsed Steve Lonegan in CD5 and he lost in West Milford, the only town in CD5 DeCroce represents in Trenton.

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