Joseph Ferriero

Republicans can’t win New Jersey without carrying Bergen County, and Joe Ferriero has turned this onetime GOP stronghold into a virtual Democratic empire. Even critics can’t deny that Ferriero, a prodigious fundraiser and forceful leader, isn’t the man responsible for his party’s resurgence. He won re-election with 86% of the vote this month against a candidate backed (though not officially endorsed) by his biggest rival, Loretta Weinberg. He eased State Sen. Joe Coniglio out of the race amidst a federal probe. But Ferriero has become a bit arrogant with his power, and has had a few setbacks: he couldn’t oust Gerald Cardinale and failed to install Paul Sarlo as Senate Majority Leader.

Joseph Ferriero