Tangled Up in Teaneck

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER LORETTA WEINBERG. Her power doesn't derive from the classic New Jersey model of overweight guys in suits who walk around looking like they want to rip people's knuckles off their hands. But don't underestimate the empress of New Jersey's progressives, who demonstrated her blackjack-wielding effectiveness during Bridgegate, and in staying on offense for  numerous liberal causes, including gun control.

SENATE MAJORITY LEADER LORETTA WEINBERG. Her power doesn’t derive from the classic New Jersey model of overweight guys in suits who walk around looking like they want to rip people’s knuckles off their hands. But don’t underestimate the empress of New Jersey’s progressives, who demonstrated her blackjack-wielding effectiveness during Bridgegate, and in staying on offense for numerous liberal causes, including gun control.

The 37th District more and more each day resembles a taffee pull, as a slate that once looked so close, and so tight, now appears fractured heading into the 2017 election, with different occupants guard-dogging different corners of a developing statehouse contest.

Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) leans Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester).

Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood) leans Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) last week issued a shermanesque statement in  support of former Goldman Sachs kingpin Phil Murphy.

Weinberg told PolitickerNJ at a Democratic Party dinner in Somervile last week that Johnson’s his own man, an ally, but uncontrollable.

Yet the Murphy endorsement a day later by Teaneck Democratic Chair Laura Zucker left more than a few Teaneck politics watchers scratching their heads. Zucker is politically tight with Weinberg.  Two sources told PolitickerNJ that Zucker’s support for Murphy makes no sense unless the senate majority leader is hedging her bets in the gubernatorial contest. They also note that a local slate backed by Weinberg and Zucker got wiped out earlier this year.

For his part, Mayor Mohammed Hameeduddin said he wants Democrats to stay honed in on the election at hand.

“I would hope we would be focused on getting our freeholders and getting Josh Gottheimer [the 5th Congressional District challenger] elected,” Hameeduddin told PolitickerNJ. “There will be plenty of time ahead of June next year, but right now I would hope all attention is on the election we have in seven weeks.”

But his entreaties appear in vain as all sides keep mobilizing hard heading toward the 2017 Democtratic Primary for governor.