In the 29th district, independent state Senate candidates Assemblyman William Payne and At-Large Councilman Luis Quintana this afternoon were making the most of their groundgames against the favorite, M.Teresa Ruiz, who enjoys the mammoth machinery of the North Ward Democratic Organization.
Ruiz and her team have the line up here in Newark in an overwhelmingly Democratic district, which they're hoping will prove a key difference-maker in putting down the Payne-Quintana insurrection.
"We have a very good street operation," said Ruiz Campaign spokesman Phil Alagia. "We have at least 100 people out walking the South Ward right now."
The South Ward is Ruiz's weak link, and it's Payne's home base. The veteran Democratic lawmaker running as an independent said he was downtown and on his way back to his campaign headquarters in the South Ward.
"There are four more hours to go," said Payne. "We're still working."
At 4 p.m., Quintana was walking the streets and drumming up votes in the North Ward.
"We're knocking on doors, we're working," said the councilman. "They've got money but we've got people. I don't have turkeys to give. Ionly have my heart to giveaway."
Quintana said whatever happens he feels he's given his best effort against the machine.