Winners and Losers: Week of August 4th


Jeff Bell

Christie confidant Bill Palatucci this week vowed fundraising help for the GOP candidate, the challenger of U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who’s running just ten points behind the Democratic incumbent, according to a Quinnipiac University poll. Booker leads 47-37%. According to veteran Philadelphia Inquirer reporter Jonathan Tamari, “the gap looks somewhat narrow considering the incumbent’s profile compared with that of Bell, who last ran for office in 1978 and moved back to New Jersey only in February after living and working in the Washington-area for 30 years. Even New Jersey Republicans don’t know Bell – but they support him.”

Hillary Clinton 

Presidential contest polls this week showed the former U.S. Secretary of State running ten points ahead of vacationing New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who otherwise had a good week with the Assembly’s passage of a constitutional amendment to put a bail reform question on the November ballot.

Donald Norcross

Prime sponsor of the bail reform bill, the state Senator from Camden County on Monday celebrated the Assembly’s passage of his legislation, and took a bow onstage at a Democratic gala event anchored by Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada.

Jackie Cornell-Bechelli

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia M. Burwell this week announced her appointment of Jackie Cornell-Bechelli as Region II Director of HHS. Cornell-Bechelli briefly served as the 2012 NJ state director for President Barack Obama’s re-election campaign before transferring to battleground Pennsylvania.

Jeff Gardner

Running against incumbent Passaic Clerk Kristin Corrado, the Hawthorne Democrat this week welcomed Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) to head up a fundraising event at the Brownstone in Paterson, and expects Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop in October.

James Tedesco

The Bergen County freeholder (and former mayor of Paramus) showed he’s serious in his challenge of incumbent County Executive Kathe Donovan when he had a veterans’ event this week with retired Four-Star General Wesley Clark, a national figure close to the Clintons.



Vincent Prieto

The Star-Ledger hacked a chunk of credibility off of Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, the Secaucus a code inspector with three public jobs, who’s doing consulting work for a South Jersey firm called All Risk Property Damage Experts, a disaster recovery firm that employs state Sen. Jim Beach (D-6).

Carmelo Garcia

By a vote of 5-2, the Hoboken Housing Authority’s Board of Commissioners on Monday night fired the assemblyman from his job as executive director of the HHA. That doesn’t bode well for Garcia’s future in the assembly, where he was already on wobbly legs with Union City powerbroker state Sen. Brian P. Stack (D-33).

Kim Guadagno

With Christie on vacation in California, all the lieutenant governor had to do as acting guv this week was run out the clock. But a trip to Hope’s “The Land of Make Believe” served up the perfect GOP Primary campaign in a future governor’s race ad to dog Christie’s duct-taped second banana.

Dawn Zimmer

It looked like payback for the mayor of Hoboken when old foe Garcia finally went down on Monday night, but the larger consequence is that Stack may decide to either go around Hoboken when he searches for a replacement assemblyperson for 2015 – or simply pick someone from among the 4th Ward ranks of anti-Zimmer people furious over Garcia’s firing.

Darien Allen

The chairman of the Passaic City Housing Authority was arrested Tuesday and charged with cocaine possession with intent to distribute and unlawful possession of a 9mm handgun, according to The Bergen Record. On Wednesday, Allen was suspended from his job as an assistant manager in the Passaic Board of Education accounts payable office.

Logan F. Holt Jr.

The former Atlantic City inspector pleaded guilty this week to accepting cash bribes from a taxi operator and operators of massage parlors and “stress therapy centers,” according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. 

John Breheney

A reputed associate of the Genovese Crime Family, “Fu,” 49, of Little Egg Harbor, was sentenced to 38 months in prison for his role in a racketeering conspiracy and tax evasion conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Winners and Losers: Week of August 4th