UPDATED: As predicted, the oft-delayed Union County Dems vote for their CD7 endorsement has now been canceled. Rescheduled to Sunday, March 11 at 4pm
CD4: I do feel like this is a firm grip on the obvious kind of post, to tell you that this CD4 candidate forum featuring Jim Keady & Josh Welle is canceled. It’s pouring snow. Over the weekend Mike Keeling dropped out and backed Jim Keady. But I can’t imaging Josh Welle is eager to come out and share a forum stage with Keady, snow or no snow. Keady’s very engaging, but Welle is, so far, out-raising him and took the first party convention in the district, winning the Monmouth Democratic Party line over Keady 60%-40%. Ocean (March 11 ) & Mercer (March 21) conventions are still to come.
CD7 – Union: Meanwhile, here’s something in my CD7 that – so far – brand new Union County Dem Chair Nick Scutari hasn’t canceled, and it’s pretty important stuff. Tonight at Union’s HQ in Clark, the municipal party chairs in the 13 CD7 towns are scheduled to meet to award the Union County line to one of the 6 Dems vying for their shot to go up against Leonard Lance. Because of the internal party turmoil going on in Union over the last few weeks, with Chair Jerry Green stepping down and a battle for control between Scutari and Colleen Mahr, the vote has already been postponed several times. It’s still on for 7pm. But I won’t be surprised if it’s called off … again.
Here in DCCC-targeted CD7, one of only 23 Republican-held districts where Hillary Clinton also won, we’re in full white-out, but the stakes are high.
Early on, Essex awarded the line to Linda Weber on Chair LeRoy Jones’ say-so, then Somerset gave her the line in a process of executive vote following local temperature taking in the municipalities. But since then, the dynamics of the race have shifted dramatically, with Weber having trouble fundraising, then lost Hunterdon to Tom Malinowski by a 2-to-1 margin, despite chair Arlene Perez campaigning for her, then Weber came in 4th in both the Morris County and Warren County conventions, in Warren after a 2nd-ballot runoff between Malinowski and Goutam Jois ** gave Malinowski the win. Both candidates who dropped out, Lisa Mandelblatt and Scott Salmon, endorsed Malinowski. But Union could shift Weber’s downtick. Most of the candidates are from Union, but she’s lived there longest. And that could count if Union’s CD7 locals make a parochial choice for a favorite daughter, or if they buy into the year-of-the-woman theme Weber talks up on the stump. This is the last county in CD7 to weigh in. The county parties have tried to speed it up. The voters have their say June 5th.
Among recent developments, Malinowski got a homestead tax deduction for his residence in D.C. that he would only be eligible for if it was a primary residence. He’s since notified he’s no longer eligible for it, but only “this month.” He rents a home in Rocky Hill (Mercer), and is “in the market” to buy a house. Too soon to tell if this will open him to charges of ‘carpetbagging,’ but it might. And yesterday, Loretta Weinberg endorsed Weber, emphasizing gender in her remarks.
** Note: a member of my household is running the Goutam Jois campaign