There is considerable speculation this morning in the caverns of 35th District politics about the 2015 impact of Passaic County Democratic Committee John Currie’s decision to go all in on this year’s mayoral election in Paterson.
Disunity this year could prove a unifer next year, say sources connected to local campaigns nursing wounds today in the aftermath of Currie and his assemblypeople announcing support for Council President Andre Sayegh for mayor.
So far, state Sen. Nellie Pou (D-35) has attempted to stay out of the fracas, but any intensification of political ugliness between now and Election Day could ultimatley force Pou to pick a side.
If Sayegh wins two weeks from today, there are several key questions in play.
First, does former Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres summon the will to challenge Team Currie off the line for a legislative seat next year?
Would Torres be able to break bread with his old 2nd Ward nemesis Aslon Goow (if Goow also loses to Sayegh) in the name of forming a renegade ticket?
Or would Torres pair up more naturally with activist David Gilmore, another mayoral candidate who has shown an affinity for Torres and vice versa on the mayoral campaign trail.
With Torres in the race and her own re-election upcoming in 2017, where would Pou go?
She’s close to Torres, always has been.
She’s also an organization person.
Pou right now likely feels the nascent stages of angst visited onto her ticket mate Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35), who felt pulled between godfather (literally) Currie and incumbent Mayor Jeff Jones, whose campaign Sumter ran in 2010.
The alpha male frenzy that would inevitably ensue between Torres and Goow in a war for the top spot on 2015 anti-establishment lawn signs would have to be settled by a simple contest: Torres gets more votes in loss to Sayegh and he’s in the top position; Goow gets more votes, he commands the spot.
The dislike Torres and Goow have for each other may prevent them from summoning sufficient common cause outrage, however.
In that case, Torres could turn to Gilmore in pursuit of a ticketmate.
But if Goow substantially outduels Gilmore in a May 13th loss, it is hard to picture the volatile former 2nd Ward councilman sitting on the sidelines of a 2015 showdown with the Democratic establishment.
Would he forge his own ticket, splitting the legislative contests three ways?
If Sayegh wins and the depth of frustration with the party among the losers does not abate, but in fact increases, the danger for those antis, of course, would be a repetition of this election cycle if the resistant parties divide themselves again.
But both Torres and Goow see a way to win the mayor’s race on May 13th.