News of a few minutes ago, via politicker, John Girgenti will not pursue re-election.
Girgenti has had a year-plus of hard blows. His statement on the Senate floor on December 7, 2009 sent shockwaves through the thousands of marriage equality supporters who filled every room in the State House, and its annex, and immediately vaulted him to the top of a priority list to challenge and replace.
Bergen Record columnist Charles Stile called Blue Jersey’s own Jeff Gardner, a bona fide giant slayer for doing just that, when Jeff’s opening volley was to challenge Girgenti for control of the Hawthorne Democrats, which the senator led for a long time as Municipal Chair. That party contest showed mastery of grassroots organizing on the part of Jeff, and his team, many of whom are also regular participants in the Blue Jersey community.
Jeff’s party victory in the hometown he and Girgenti share was a wound to the long-time senator and Passaic County Democratic powerhouse. And it showed considerable progressive muscle.
Before redistricting redrew New Jersey, Jeff anticipated his next contest – the big game – would be a matchup against Girgenti for their district’s Senate seat. Redistricting changed all that. Jeff, proclaimed a redistricting “Winner” in Stile’s column this morning, is now a candidate for Assembly in the new LD-38. (Have you been to Jeff’s new facebook page?)
Girgenti’s, redistricted away from the town he was born in – Paterson – and the fact that the state Attorney General is investigating his ties to the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commissioners were two of the last blows.
Girgenti has served in the Senate for 21 years. His history is long and distinguished. Perhaps some of his constituents here would like to weigh in.