Last primary day one of the biggest battles were the “reform” Democrats led by the Christie-loving Elizabeth Board of Education and the “establishment” Democrats led by Ray Lesniak and Joe Cryan.
Despite winning the primary, Lesniak actually lost Elizabeth in the primary which has to gall him. It’s his home town, and he still lives there even after all his success. And he’s friends and support with the Mayor of Elizabeth, Chris Bollwage, the next target.
Recently Lesniak even floated Bollwage for Governor, and idea that had to have originated with Lesniak because pretty much no one ever considered it. But in raising the idea Lesniak also raises Bollwage’s image which isn’t going to hurt in 2012 when he runs for reelection.
And that’s where the battle comes in. Lesniak is pissed at the Christie-supporting Elizabeth Board of Education, and wants to stop having to deal with them. There are school elections in spring which are going to be a tough battle with more money spent than the usual off-year election. Then comes the primary battle for the Mayor’s office, which also promises to be a major knock-down drag-out fight.
But it appears that things are happening already, and maybe Lesniak will be able to avoid having to do elections. There have been inkings of wrongdoing by school board members, and now it has moved to official investigations:
The state attorney general has opened a criminal investigation into allegations that three Elizabeth school officials abused a taxpayer-subsidized lunch program, sources briefed on the matter said Wednesday. …
As for the investigation into the lunch program, district officials said Tuesday that Carlos Lucio, a principal who earns $103,163 a year, and Marlene Abitanto, a supervisor of custodians who earns $73,350, were put on paid administrative leave until an investigation is completed. The president of the school board, Marie L. Munn, holds an elected position and is not subject to suspension by the district.
Munn is rumored to be the top candidate to go after Bollwage next year. Gonna have to try to find someone else, I guess.