Keep an eye on the Independent in Englewood

One race increasingly worth watching is in Englewood, where uber-ambitious Democratic Mayor Michael Wildes faces a sprited challenge from another Democrat running as an Independent, Dr. Robert Stern. Stern has built a grass-roots organization that Bergen Democrats claim is catching on, although there is no empirical evidence of his success. Last week, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson, who is running this year for an Englewood Council seat on the Wildes slate, alleged that the incumbent Mayor was intimidating African American voters in Englewood. The 58-year-old Dentist, Little League Coach and John Harms Center President has attacked the incumbent for his support of over-development and his clear interest in running for higher office. (Wildes lost a Special Election Convention for State Assembly in 2005 to another Englewood resident, Valerie Vainieri Huttle, and has nearly $460,000 in a federal campaign account, just in case Congressman Steven Rothman decides not to run for re-election in 2008.)