The timing of Joseph Coniglio’s announcement was terrible for Robert Gordon, a Democratic Assemblyman from the 38th district with an interest in seeking Coniglio’s State Senate seat. Coniglio, the target of a federal corruption investigation, dropped his bid for re-election to a third term around 5:30 PM yesterday, just as Gordon, who is Jewish, was preparing to start his observance of the Rosh Hashanah holiday. That means Gordon might not be able to begin campaigning until Friday afternoon for an election that might come on Monday evening. (Monday is the deadline to replace candidates on the ballot, although over the last five years, the courts have made that deadline highly flexible.)
Coincidentally, the timing works well for Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, who does not want to send Gordon to the Senate. Ferriero has told Democrats that he thinks Gordon and Assemblywoman Joan Voss are off the table because they received subpoenas in the federal probe of the state budget — The Record quoted law enforcement sources as saying that Gordon was not a target — but other insiders suggest the real reason is that Gordon may be a little too independent for the party leader. (Ferriero already has a Senator who exerts her political independence: Loretta Weinberg.)
Editor’s Note: Ferriero contacted PoliticsNJ.com to deny reports that Gordon and Voss are out of contention for the Senate. “It’s absolutely not true,” Ferriero said.
Ferriero, the sources say, prefers popular Paramus Mayor James Tedesco or Bergen County Freeholder Connie Wagner.
Gordon is not doing politics during his holiday; his wife told a PoliticsNJ.com reporter last night to call him after today.