NEWARK – Assemblywoman Nellie Pou (D-North Haledon) and Jeff Gardner of Hawthorne occupied two seats against the same wall in close proximity tonight at the reapportionment hearing, but they may end up on separate sides of a Democratic Party war in the 35th District.
Gardner, who pleaded with the commissioners to seat the 11th tiebreaking member of the commission, will likely run against incumbent state Sen. John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne). Pou has run as Girgenti’s running mate in the past and presumably is poised to again run at his side.
But it’s volatile.
Sources in Paterson say party players are trying to dump the third incumbent on that ticket, Assemblywoman Elease Evans (D-Paterson,) for replacement Shavonda Sumter.
Sumter is the goddaughter of Passaic County Democratic Party Chairman John Currie and served as the campaign manager for Paterson Mayor Jeff Jones.
On his way out of the hearing tonight, Gardner told PolitickerNJ.com that he intends to win the backing of the county party at its convention and run as the establishment Democrat on a ticket that could include Pou.