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Winners & Losers: June Runoffs & Party Races

The Year of the Groundgame

By David Wildstein, June 15 2018 2:22 am


Special Edition: June 2018 Runoffs & Party Races
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
The Hudson County Executive is now a safe bet for re-election next year after beating back a bid by Democrats to oust him by getting his daughter elected Hudson County Democratic chair. Twenty months ago, the Jersey City mayor was the front-runner for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination.  Now he can’t even deliver his his own local Democratic organization to get his candidate for Hudson County Democratic Chairman.  Fulop pushed Brian Stack to take out DeGise as a condition of his support, and pledged most of his 362 votes to do it. The math worked for Stack, who had votes out of Union City, Hoboken and, initially, West New York.   Stack would have been an easy winner if Fulop had been able to perform as promised.  But the mayor had far less clout than he said he did.  Instead of working, he tweeted about socks at a polo match, traveled to Boston for a mayors conference the Friday before the election, followed by a Saturday tweet on how he was home enjoying a good book.   By best estimates,  Amy DeGise received 71 votes in Jersey City and Brian Stack got 216 — which means 75 county committee members (21%) didn’t even show up to vote.  As Hudson Democrats now prepare for peace and unity, Fulop finds himself as a political eunuch, with practically no countywide political power despite being the mayor of the state’s second largest city.  He still wields considerable influence in Jersey City and remains a strong fundraiser, but Fulop is no longer viewed as a player — or a statewide contender.
The North Ward Democratic Chairman spends weeks in the East Ward and put together a campaign to save five-term city councilman Augie Amador.
The chief of staff to the Hudson County Executive watched his boss left for dead at a diner in North Bergen and then fought back to seize control of the county Democratic organization.  
The former congressional candidate played a key role in electing Ron DeFilippis as the Morris County GOP Chairman, and now replaces DeFilippis as finance chairman.
The former Morris GOP chairman and assemblyman mounts a political comeback as a top strategist for Ron DeFilippis’ narrow win as the Morris County Republican Chairman.
The Jersey Journal reporter shows how a daily newspaper can still cover hyper-local politics with tremendous coverage of the Hudson County Chairman’s race.   The 25th district assemblyman loses his post as counsel to the Morris County Republican party, and sees a family rival emerge as the most powerful legislator in the county.
The United States Senator, up for re-election this year, avoids the distraction of a civil war in Hudson County, where he is counting on a giant plurality in November.   The mayor of Trenton may be a blip in local political history as his onetime rival became his chosen successor and then loses. 
Reed Gusciora’s chief of staff manages the successful runoff campaign that makes Gusciora, a gay white man, the next mayor of Trenton, a city that is more than 80% Black and Hispanic. The biggest loser of the May 8 non-partisan municipal elections does nothing to help move his Central and West ward  candidates in the city council runoff elections.
The longtime state senator expands his local power in Morris County by backing the winner in the race for county chairman — and becoming the party’s new executive director. The mayor of West Orange sees his preferred candidate for Democratic municipal chairman unexpectedly lose to the town’s fire captain, a free-agent not controlled by anyone.
The Newark North Ward councilman sees his ally Augie Amador win re-election in the East Ward — and with tremendous IOU’s to cash in down the road.   The Toms River councilman makes the list not because he lost a bid for Democratic municipal chairman, but because the election he lost was in his own home.  
The North Bergen mayor/state senator scores a huge and important win as he maintains considerable influence — probably even control — of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, and sees his rival Brian Stack lose a race for county chairman. The Superior Court Judge watches the final vestiges of his old political organization become essentially extinct, as two bitter allies take control: Peter Murphy returns as Passaic County Republican Chairman after a 17-year absence, and Wayne Mayor Christopher Vergano, whom Sparky’s wing tried to dump in the 2017 primary, won election as the GOP municipal chairman.   
The 8th district congressman played heavily in the race for Hudson Democratic chairman and may now control his own political destiny — meaning that he’ll retire when he wants to retire, on his own terms.
The Democratic political consultant extends an extraordinary wining streak as a top strategist for Amy DeGise’s campaign for Hudson County Democratic chairman.
Trenton’s daily newspaper ignores proms and bagels and covers the hell out of the race for mayor, leading losing candidate Paul Perez to say “Fuck the Trentonian” in his concession speech.
Edward “The Weedman” Forchion returns to his hometown, exonerated after a year in prison, and endorses Reed Gusciora for mayor of Trenton.
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One thought on “Winners & Losers: June Runoffs & Party Races

  1. HUGE Loser Sheriff “Jimmy” Gannon of Morris County, who put all his chips to the middle in backing his losing crony Rob Zwigard for Chair.
    The Gannon-Zwigard Rejection by Republicans proves that Jimmy’s got no juice after all.

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