What we will see unfold in North Jersey will be akin to the last 10 minutes of a Godfather movie, although it will probably take place over the next five years or so.
With the broken state of the post-Ferriero Bergen County political machine on display for the entire state to see, Steve Adubato, George Norcross, and Brian Stack are going to invest heavily in a long-term process whereby Bill Pascrell Jr. becomes the de facto boss of Bergen County in the same way that he is currently the de facto boss of Passaic County.
Bernadette McPherson will replace Lou Stellato as DCBC Chair and her first act will be to restore the BCDO acronym. Paul Sarlo will probably survive long enough to win re-election one more time, primarily because he will cut a deal with McPherson and Pascrell to replace Gary Schaer in the Assembly with Ritzy Moralez, but I don’t expect to see him on the ballot come November 2017. He might consider a gubernatorial bid that year if only to avoid the image of being ousted. Depending on how much McPherson likes being County Chair and how well she does in the job, she will replace Sarlo in the State Senate with herself or Moralez. Pascrell will use South Bergen as his launching pad and will continue to make inroads in Bergen, attempting to co-opt or replace local leaders.
Because neither Schaer nor Sarlo have been well-liked by Bergen County progressives, it is unlikely that they will respond negatively at first to the inroads that the Pascrell machine makes into South Bergen and may even go so far as to align themselves with him to further cleanse the county party of its last remnants of the Ferriero regime. It will be interesting to see how they respond when Pascrell and his acolytes try to replace the county conventions, which Bergen has historically used to award its party line, with a Passaic-style Executive Committee, which has historically been a rubber stamp for John Currie, who has historically been a puppet of Pascrell.
Pascrell, Albio Sires, and Brian Stack will join Donald Payne Jr. in endorsing Steven Fulop for Mayor of Jersey City, who will win in a landslide, and return the favor by supporting Stack or a Stack acolyte for the position of HCDO Chairman. Pascrell will join the Adubato-Norcross-Stack effort to re-elect Chris Christie, nominating Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage to be his sacrificial lamb as both Barbara Buono and Dick Codey see the writing on the wall and choose to run for re-election to the State Senate rather than get slaughtered in a rigged election.