PolitickerNJ Observer’s Elected Officials Power List 2016

Chris Christie
Christie
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U.S. SENATOR CORY BOOKER. His allies could make a strong case for why he should edge Christie in the number one slot. New Jersey's governor took a shot at president and stumbled into the political abyss. But Booker's still in a good spot to take a well-timed stab at the White House. His national stage standing easily puts him at the top of the heap in his home state.
Booker
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Senate President Steve Sweeney.
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JERSEY CITY MAYOR STEVEN FULOP
Mayor
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ESSEX COUNTY EXECUTIVE JOE DIVINCENZO. Ok. we know what you're thinking. He shouldn't be this high. He's too close to Norcross. He bumped off Codey in an ill-advised move. He backed Christie for governor. All questionable political moves. But he's still the most influential elected official within the framework of the Essex County Democratic Party, which will award the line next year to a gubernatorial candidate. The winner of that line is in a strong position.
DiVincenzo
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Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who is joining a group of black New Jersey mayors in decrying a recent Burlington County political mailer as racist.
Baraka.
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SENATOR NICK SACCO
Sacco
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SENATOR BRIAN P. STACK
Stack
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SENATE MAJORITY LEADER LORETTA WEINBERG. Her power doesn't derive from the classic New Jersey model of overweight guys in suits who walk around looking like they want to rip people's knuckles off their hands. But don't underestimate the empress of New Jersey's progressives, who demonstrated her blackjack-wielding effectiveness during Bridgegate, and in staying on offense for numerous liberal causes, including gun control.
Weinberg
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N.J. congressman Bill Pascrell.
Pascrell
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Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto.
Prieto.
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Kim Guadagno.
guadagno
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State Senator Ray Lesniak has pledged to mount a grass roots campaign for the Democratic nomination.
Lesniak
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UNION COUNTY SHERIFF JOE CRYAN. His political career is in ascendancy again now that he occupies a sturdy political perch in his home county. He'll be a player in next year's gubernatorial drama, no question.
Cryan
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FORMER GOVERNOR DICK CODEY. The state senator from western Essex County enjoys name ID associated with a respected tenure as acting governor that gives him political options that most elected officials in New Jersey crave.
Codey loves Democrats.
Max Pizarro
CONGRESSMAN CHRIS SMITH. The dean of New Jersey's congressional delegation is one of the U.S. Representatives' experts on foreign affairs.
Smith
The Office of Chris Smith
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Challenger to Democratic N.J. State Senator Bob Smith files suit over ballot placement.
Smith
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NJ State Senator Ronald Rice, the sponsor of a bill to require the state Attorney General to investigate all fatal police shootings.
New Jersey Politics
U.S. SENATOR BOB MENENDEZ. What a shame. His talent should put him at the top of this list, but he's squirming right now under an indictment and until that goes away he's diminished.
Menendez
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CONGRESSMAN DONALD NORCROSS. His big brother's the most powerful Democrat in New Jersey. Watch for Donald to ascend quickly in Washington, either to a U.S. Senate vacancy or to the upper echelons of House leadership.
Norcross
Donald Norcross
CONGRESSWOMAN BONNIE WATSON COLEMAN. The congresswoman is the only female member of New Jersey’s congressional delegation. She is the first black woman to win a congressional seat in the state.
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ASSEMBLY MAJORITY LEADER LOU GREENWALD. A leading light in South Jersey politics, he's one of the smarter people in Trenton.
Greenwald
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SEN. M. TERESA RUIZ. The district 29 state senator.
Ruiz
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ASSEMBLYMAN GARY SCHAER. The chairman of the Assembly Budget Committee from Passaic is on a short list of people to succeed Prieto as speaker.
Schaer
Assembly Majority Office
SENATOR NICK SCUTARI. The chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee doesn't get pushed around, and is in the backroom gladiatorial arena right now as a possible successor to Sweeney as senate president.
Scutari
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Frank Pallone, the ranking Democrat on the powerful Energy and Commerce Committee.
Frank Pallone
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SEN. NIA GILL
Gill
(Photo: Senate Majority Office)
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly. The district 35 assemblyman would likely be the odds on favorite in the event he decides to enter the race for Paterson mayor. He is popular in the assembly, well-known in the city and comes with a huge following. However, according to a Paterson source, the assemblyman has not made his intentions known, leaving the door open to some speculation about whether or not he has interesting in pursuing the position of mayor.
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SENATOR JOE VITALE. The chairman of the Senate Health Committee from Middlesex County has a one in four chance of succeeding Sweeney as the next senate president.
SENATOR PAUL SARLO. The chairman of the Senate Budget Committee has strong ties to South Jersey and Sweeney.
Allies.
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N.J. State Senator Mike Doherty has drawn attention for his argument that the state should evaluate the high cost of repairs before raising the gas tax to fund them.
Doherty
Governor's Office
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BERGEN COUNTY EXECUTIVE JIM TEDESCO. He somewhat suffers from the fact that the county chairman is particularly powerful right now, but Tedesco has a strong base in his home port of Paramus. plus, it's Bergen.
Tedesco.
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SENATOR JEFF VAN DREW. The Democrat from Cape May's unbeatable in South Jersey.
Senator Van Drew
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SENATE MINORITY LEADER TOM KEAN, JR. the son of former Governor Tom Kean has at least two or three more statewide runs in him before it's all over.
Kean
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WOODBRIDGE MAYOR JON MCCORMAC (with Edison Councilwoman Sapana Shah). He controls a key town in Middlesex County, the main puzzle piece to the power wielded by sitting Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe, a statewide power player.
McCormac
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CONGRESSMAN DONALD PAYNE, JR. No one messes with the Payne name in Newark.
Joe D.
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MERCER COUNTY EXECUTIVE BRIAN HUGHES. The son for the late Governor Richard J. Hughes will play a key role in the 2017 gubernatorial contest when it comes time for Mercer to award the line to its choice.
Hughes
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Jerry Green.
Jerry Green.
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ASSEMBLYWOMAN SHAVONDA SUMTER. The assemblywoman from the 35th legislative district’s name is allegedly being floated for a lieutenant governor’s role by several Democratic candidates for governor in 2017. That in-demand status elevates Sumter to a high level of influence for the 2017 race. She has still not ruled out making her own run for governor. She also has deep ties to the Democratic establishment in Passaic County and is the goddaughter of New Jersey Democratic State Committee Chairman John Currie.
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Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick is coming to Governor Chris Christie's defense.
Bramnick.
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ASSEMBLYMAN WAYNE DEANGELO. The respected labor leader from Mercer County - a staunch Sweeney ally - stands in a strong position to be the next speaker of the assembly.
DeAngelo
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ELIZABETH MAYOR CHRIS BOLLWAGE. The Lesniak ally combines mayoral effectiveness with fleet-footed alliance building.
Bollwage
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Assemblyman Troy Singleton has a bright future, even if it doesn't include Lt. Gov (for now).
Troy Singleton
Assembly Majority Office
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Herb Conaway chairs the Assembly Health Committee.
Conaway
PolitickerNJ for Observer
Camden Mayor Dana Redd with U.S. Representative Donald Norcross and Senator Cory Booker in 2016.
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Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle, whose bill to allow N.J. cities to effectively ban services like Airbnb advanced in committee Monday.
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MONMOUTH COUNTY SHERIFF SHAUN GOLDEN (right, with Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick). He doubles as the chairman of the Republican party and if he gets past his challenger this year he will be on short list talks as a 2021 candidate for governor.
Golden
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Jen Beck.
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Senate Republican Office
Assemblyman John Wisniewski, left.
Wisniewski
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ASSEMBLYMAN RAJ MUKHERJI. The savvy Hudson County lawmaker is in good position to make a run for Jersey City mayor next year.
In the hunt.
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WILDA DIAZ
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PLAINFIELD MAYOR ADRIAN MAPP. He took over the council and party committee to wield power as a motivated independent operator.
Plainfield Mayor
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ESSEX COUNTY FREEHOLDER BRENDAN GILL. The Phil Murphy for Governor campaign strategist is a shrewd backroom operative in Democratic Party politics.
Gill
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ASSEMBLYMAN JAMEL HOLLEY. The Roselle lawmaker may get the Proximo hand on the shoulder as the successor to (supposedly) retiring Senator Ray Lesniak.
Campaigning in Roselle.
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PATERSON COUNCILMAN ALEX MENDEZ. If Wimberly doesn't run to succeed Torres, Dominican powerhouse Mendez could be the next mayor of Paterson.
Dominican leader.
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