Down to the details, this election cycle is not as much about one party versus the other, so much as an old familiar dogfight: that of the sexes.
In a battle with men in the backrooms of power, women are on tough footing in New Jersey right now.
There’s Barbara Buono, the Democratic nominee, running behind incumbent Gov. Chris Chrsitie by double digits, with many critical machine pieces of Democratic Party power fleeing the nominee’s cause.
By leaving her senate seat and two men in her wake vying to replace her, NJ will lose a woman in the state senate.
There’s Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34), discarded by Democratic Party leadership and replaced by Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-32).
There’s LD 38, where Democrats replaced retiring Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-38) with Paul Contillo of Paramus (to fill the unexpired term), and Paramus Council President Joseph Langana (on the LD38 Democratic ticket).
Republican women candidates Nikki Trunk in LD3 and Susan Adelizi-Schmidt in LD1 appear to be out of the inner sanctum of Gov. Chris Christie love enjoyed by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), the leader of the South Jersey Democratic delegation.
Republican legislative commandants hope to pick off Assemblywoman Celeste Riley (D-3) and Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-22), reading them as politically weaker than their lower house running mates, Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-3) and Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-22) respectively.
Locally, in Newark, John Sharpe James, son of former Mayor Sharpe James, will be on the Nov. 5th ballot and is a strong favorite to replace Council President Donald Payne, Jr. as an at-large councilman. A judge ejected Shanique Speight from that seat earlier this year, setting up James’s walk over next week.