Bernie Kenny’s bad memory

Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny, the Hudson County Democratic Chairman, told the Star-Ledger that Sandra Bolden Cunningham “would be the first African-American Senator from Hudson County, and I think that matters.” Actually, Cunningham would be the fourth African American to represent Hudson in the State Senate, and Kenny has served with the other three: Joseph Charles, a Senator from 2002 to 2003; L. Harvey Smith, a Senator for a brief time in 2003 and 2004; and the late Glenn Cunningham, who held the Senate seat for six months until his death in June 2004.

Charles and Kenny were also Assemblymen together for five years, and Kenny backed Smith in the 2003 Democratic Senate primary against Cunningham, and in a 2003 Special Election Convention after that when Charles resigned to become a Superior Court Judge.

Only three other counties have elected African American State Senators: Camden (Wayne Bryant), Essex (Hutchins Inge, Wynona Lipman, Ronald Rice, Sharpe James and Nia Gill), and Mercer (Shirley Turner). Only Hudson County has sent a Latino to the Senate (Robert Menendez), and the only Asian-American Senator came from Essex County (Kevin O’Toole).

Bernie Kenny’s bad memory