Winners and Losers: Week of August 22

WINNERS

Mike Doherty

The mountain man senator from Legislative District 23 wanted an investigation into the Elizabeth Board of Education schools lunch program and, by mid week, received newspaper sourced confirmation that the state Attorney General’s Office is looking into the matter.

Ray Lesniak

When he escaped getting impaled by the Elizabeth Board of Education during Primary Season, Lesniak vowed to get his revenge on the organization that heaped a campaign cycle’s worth of trenchant criticism on top of him. Part of that revenge was a Ted Sherman expose, and subsequent cage rattling by Lesniak and Doherty helped propel the state AG’s Office.

Troy Singleton

Running for a District 7 Assembly seat, the labor leader will get to run as an incumbent on a ticket with Assemblyman Herb Conaway with the news this week that Assemblyman Jack Conners won’t wait until the end of his term. Conners has accepted a position with the Camden County Department of Veterans Affairs and resigned from the Assembly Thursday to start his new job.

Barbara Buono

The state Senate Majority Leader and her District 18 running mates launched her Senate re-election campaign in Edison with a large, packed display of grassroots support.

Diane Allen

Always alert to her specific brand getting battered in the Christie era, the moderate 7th District state senator this week accepted the endorsement of the New Jersey State Nurses Association, an organization that represents 110,000 nurses statewide.

Holly Schepisi

The borough attorney in River Vale received the personal endorsement this week of retiring Assemblywoman Charlotte Vandervalk, (R-39). Schepisi still has to go thorough a contested party convention next month, but having Vandervalk on her side helps.

LOSERS 

Barack Obama

Forty-seven percent of New Jersey voters say the president does not deserve a second term, compared to 43 percent who say he should be re-elected next year, according to this week’s Rutgers-Eagleton Poll. That’s a five-point drop in Obama’s favorability since February.

The Elizabeth Board of Education

Veteran Star-Ledger reporter Ted Sherman did a piece on high command school officials using a free lunch program for their children that is designed to help needy families. By the middle of the week, sources were telling the Ledger that the state Attorney General’s Office is investigating the matter.  

Ronald O’Malley

The former Bergen County Improvement Authority Chairman pleaded guilty this week to mortgage fraud. While employed at Ridgewood mortgage brokerage firm Diversified Financial Group, which does business as Residential Mortgage Corporation, O’Malley falsely claimed BCIA employment for numerous borrowers.

Pat Delany

The wife of the former assemblyman from District 8 sent a racially tinged email to state Senate candidate Carl Lewis, prompting Delany’s withdrawal from the contest. Citing family issues, Delany left office a month ago, but the back story came out this week, thrusting the ex-Lumberton pol into a spotlight he tried to avoid by resigning when he did. 

Chris Christie

A Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released this week shows 47% of voters holding an unfavorable view of the governor, a jump of 21 points since February 2010, when only 26 percent felt unfavorable. The governor also sustained a hit when Doherty, a member of his own party, criticized his administration for perceived inaction on the Elizabeth Board of Education, forcing the governor to train his sights on a circle of political friends.

Winners and Losers: Week of August 22