If the uber-ambitious Englewood Mayor Michael Wildes decides he wants to pick his own successor, a split within the anti-Wildes faction of the Englewood Democratic Party could boost his chances. Last night, Frank Huttle, a partner at one of the state's most politically influential law firms and the husband of Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Englewood), scored a 64%-36% victory over Councilman Scott Reddin for the endorsement of the local Democratic organization. Reddin, a former aide to U.S. Rep. Steven Rothman (who is also a former Englewood Mayor) is saying he will remain in the race. A three-way contest surely enhances the chances of a Wildes-backed candidate winning the June primary.
Some Democrats view the vote as a slap in the face of Rothman, who has often straddled the line between the Bergen County Democratic Organization and the reform group led by State Sen. Loretta Weinberg, Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) and Valerie Huttle.
Wildes, who announced earlier this year that he would not seek re-election, has not yet endorsed a mayoral candidate.