Assemblyman Gordon Johnson’s (D-Englewood) bombshell endorsement this evening of former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy for governor in 2017 created parlor game possibilities in the 37th District.
If Murphy does not get the line in Bergen County, and Johnson sticks with him, other district names emerge as possibilities for county line candidates in the 37th.
Some of them include:
Teaneck Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin, Fort Lee Mayor Marc Sockolich, NAACP President Anthony
Cureton, Hackensack Councilwoman Deborah Keeling-Geddis, Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Gloria Oh, Englewood Councilman Wayne Hamer, and Palisades Park Mayor James Rutondo.
One of the above could join Johnson and state Senator Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), for example, in the event that Murphy does not get the Bergen line and the pair of incumbents needs a third colleague to round out their ticket – especially if Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englehood) sticks with Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop an runs for senate on the line.
Two of those names could end up running with Huttle, if the ticket splinters.
A Bergen source noted that if the Englewood Assemblyman’s endorsement does indeed reveal a split 37th and Weinberg pursues reelection at the side of her longtime loyal ally Johnson, and Huttle pursues her own plans separate from her two colleagues, the Bridgegate-heeled Sokolich would likely be a first choice for Weinberg.
“How does Loretta not go with Sokolich?” the source mused. “The darling of Democrats — the guy who stood up to Christie and ultimately will be credited with taking him down.”
One source speculated that Johnson’s endorsement created the likely potential for a three-way district split among the incumbents, with Weinberg dug in behind the candidacy of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester).