Tag Archive: Mercer County

Mercer County Campaigns

Hi Everyone!

We wanted to give the BlueJersey community an update on the campaign for Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes and let you know what we’re up to leading into Election Day.

Also, we’ve got two commercials online that you can view.  A little more about the race and where you can go to help out any of the campaigns in Mercer County after the jump.

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Your Turn: What’s on your minds today, Blue Jersey?

News Round-up and Open Thread for Tuesday, November 28th

Open Thread: What’s on your minds today, Blue Jersey?

Lower Central Jersey?

This week, national Republicans are flooding NJ with money to slime Senator Menendez, obscure the fact Kean Jr is a ‘Jr’, and maintain their stranglehold on our government.

You can do something about it.

There is now an evening phonebank in South Brunswick — a short ride from most of lower Central NJ. If you can spare two or three hours to make some calls at this important time, it would make a huge difference. As people who are wise to the issues, the false attacks, and what’s at stake, you can be an extremely valuable source of information for voters. There are only three weeks left, and every contact counts.

If you are interested in phonebanking tomorrow, next week, or at any time, please call Victory 2006, ask for AJ, and tell him you want to help by phonebanking in South Brunswick. 732-613-3912.

News Round-up & Open Thread for Thursday, Oct 12

36 years ago today, President Nixon announced another round of troop withdrawals from South Vietnam. Despite already losing the war, Bush bravely insists on keeping others’ sons and daughters in Iraq without a plan until they’re all killed, or until he leaves office – whichever comes first.

And now back to your regularly scheduled news:

  • The latest Quinnipiac University poll has Menendez ahead 49%-45%, a 7 point swing since September when Kean Jr led 48%-45%. A Rasmussen poll will show Menendez ahead 44%-40%.
  • Not surprisingly, members of the Black Ministers Council endorsed Bob Menendez yesterday saying Kean Jr has offered nothing but unsubstantiated negative attacks. They also “voiced concern over Kean’s 2002 vote in Trenton opposing racial profiling legislation.” Kean Jr’s spokeswoman says he actually did vote for it in the Senate after he voted against it in the Assembly.
  • Hamilton mayor Glen Gilmore has donated more than $12,000 he received from John Lynch, who recently pleaded guilty to corruption. “Gilmore had originally declined to give up the money, but changed his mind this week.” Mercer County Republicans are calling the Mercer Democratics to return over $32,000 they’ve received from Lynch. Democrats say Republicans are hypocrites and should return $36,000 from Harry Parkin and others – all of whom pleaded or were found guilty as well.
  • There’s not much love for Sen Karcher’s bill to ban trans fats from restaurant food. Assemblyman Lou Manzo said “I just don’t like the taste of this bill.”
  • Third district legislators, Sen Stephen Sweeney and Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Doug Fisher, visited with students at Woodstown. One eighth grader said: “I never realized what they could actually do…It’s nice to finally be able to see how they can affect us on a daily basis.” Another added: “They made me really want to learn more about politics…They inspired me to maybe one day become a politician.”
  • Assemblyman Joe Roberts has proposed creating 21 “super” county school superintendents as a way to cut property taxes, but Assemblyman Senator Bob Smith wants to go a step further and create 21 “administrative” county school districts, where purchasing, HR, transportation and other work is consolidated, eliminating an estimated 600 local administrators and staffers.
  • Good News!

    No, the casinos are still closed, you still have to pay tolls on the Parkway, and the budget crisis is nowhere close to being resolved. But Mercer County Executive Brian Hughes has some great poll results. Isn’t that exciting?

    Hughes commissioned a poll in advance of his reelection campaign this year and found that he has built considerable political appeal across the board.

    His job approval/disapproval rating throughout Mercer County is 65/12. Among registered Democrats it’s 68/9; among Republicans it’s 69/9; and in Hamilton, long considered a Republican stronghold in the county as well as a bellwether for state political sentiment, Brian’s approval/disapproval is 73/10.

    Brian Hughes’ win in 2003 and Paula Sollami-Covello’s election as clerk this year completed the Democrats’ takeover of all Mercer County offices. If these poll results are any indication, that won’t change any time soon.

    Some say Paul Anzano may be Mercer County’s next Democratic Chair… but we hear different

    UPDATE: Rich McClellan will definitely be staying on as county chair.

    An item in today’s politicsnj.com says Trenton lawyer and Dem fundraiser Paul Anzano is expected to replace Mercer County Democratic Chairman Richard McClellan when he steps down next week. A similar item ran two days ago in Inside Edge.
    But we hear different.

    We hear that’s not going to happen. It’s possible Trenton mayor Doug Palmer was unhappy with the choice, who is a Tony Mack supporter.

    Speculation is that they’ll ask Rich McClellan to stay on. Will he change his mind about stepping down?

    UPDATE: Smith (NJ-4) to Get a Serious Challenger

    We’re hearing that there is a candidate from the 4th district hailing from Ocean County that is willing to commit “significant” personal resources to challenge Congressman Chris Smith.

    This would be a major change whereas in recent years Democrats put up only a nominal fight in the 4th. The candidate may be unveiled as early as Saturday at the Mercer County Convention.

    UPDATE: The candidate’s name is Gary Schiavone, who on Sunday was endorsed by the Ocean County Democratic County Committee. Schiavone works at the Paratransit Division of NYC Transit.

    Laurel Hester has already made a difference

    Last night, Union County freeholders voted unanimously (9-0) in support of granting county employees domestic partner benefits. According to one person who attended the meeting “[the freeholders] all cited Laurel Hester as their inspiration”. Lt. Hester has served in Ocean County’s prosecutor’s office for 23 years and has inoperable cancer. She would like to pass her pension benefits on to her partner, which is the only way she would be able to afford to keep their home, but the Ocean County freeholders have refused to grant her those benefits.

    Last week, Mercer County also cited the situation in Ocean County as the reason why they were acting to pass domestic partner benefits. The person at the freeholder’s meeting continued: “I watched in tears – even if Ocean County doesn’t budge, Laurel has already helped so many with her courage and I wish she had seen it.”

    If the Ocean County freeholders hope that this situation is just going to fade away, they are sadly mistaken. They are the laughing stock of not only New Jersey, but the entire country and if tourism declines next summer, they shouldn’t act surprised that people don’t want to visit the homophobia capital of the world.

    The next Ocean County freeholder’s meeting is Wednesday, Dec 7th in Room 304, Third Floor, Administration Building, 101 Hooper Avenue, Toms River. If you’re from the county, come out in support of Lt. Hester.

    You can also contact the following people and let them know how you feel:

    County Administrator
    Alan W. Avery (732) 929-2147

    Freeholders CountyConnection@co.ocean.nj.us
    Gerry P. Little: (732) 929-2001
    Joseph H. Vicari: (732) 929-2002
    John P. Kelly: (732) 929-2003
    James F. Lacey: (732) 929-2004
    John C. Bartlett, Jr: (732) 929-2116

    County Tourism Director
    Barbara Steele – (732) 929-2000 bsteele@co.ocean.nj.us

    Democrats take control of Mercer County

    After this year’s election, Democrats will hold all county-wide elected offices in Mercer County.

    Democrats have held of the office of sheriff in Mercer since 1990. They took over the last of seven freeholder spots in 1994. The county executive seat was held by Republican Robert Prunetti for 24 years, until he retired in 2003. Democrat Brian Hughes challenged Republican Catherine DiCostanzo, who was clerk at the time, for the open position. Hughes won, and DiCostanzo retained her seat as clerk, the last remaining county-wide office still held by a Republican.

    A few months ago, DiCostanzo made the following comment, which I couldn’t make up if I tried, when asked about the various problems in the clerk’s office:

    “We serve the public – Democrats, Republicans, independents, atheists – this should not be partisan.”

    After counting provisional ballots in this year’s election, DiCostanzo’s challenger, Democrat Paula Sollami-Covello, has a lead of 237 votes (out of over 94,000 cast) and will soon take office. I don’t know too much about Paula, but if I had to guess – I’m pretty confident she doesn’t consider atheism to be a political afiliation. And that’s not a bad start.