Tag Archive: Ronald C. Rice

The Hotly Contested CD 10

In CD 10 the  race remains open with four key competing veteran Democrats who have been in office for multiple cycles. In other districts except for CD 9 the outcome is more predictable and there are fewer seasoned politicians in each race. New developments in this tri-county contest include added support for Senator Nia Gill (D-34). Surprisingly, however, she filed to run in the primary for the regular two-year term starting in January 2013, but not for the unexpired term from November to January. The prospects for each candidate vary from place to place and the past votes won by each candidate in recent elections provide perspective.

A spokesperson for Senator Gill’s campaign told Blue Jersey this morning by phone that her failure to to file for the unexpired term was not inadvertent. “She is in it for the long haul and that starts with the regular term. The serious candidate runs for the full term,” he said. She qualifies to run in both primaries and would have gained added votes from Elizabeth and other towns which were part of the old CD10 but not the new one. The other three leading candidates filed for both primaries.

Hudson County (23% of new CD 10 population) has just awarded Line A to Senator Nia Gill (D Montclair) rather than Essex’s Donald Payne, Jr. There is no love lost between the Adubato, DiVincenzo, and Thigpen Essex Democratic Committee and the Mark Smith Hudson Democratic Committee. In 2011, for example, Hudson supported Assemblyman Joe Cryan (D- Union) against Essex County’s Sheila Oliver for the Assembly Speaker position. Also Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-31) whose legislative district includes all of Hudson’s CD 10 population endorsed Gill.

In Essex County which has a whopping 57 % of the new CD 10 population the Democratic Committee just confirmed it will give Line A to Donald Payne, Jr. Union (20% of CD 10 population) will hold an open primary. Sen. Ray Lesniak a powerful force in Union whose legislative district includes about half of Union’s new CD10 is a strong supporter of Senator Gill.

There are now four key individuals (plus two other Democrats and one Republican) seeking to fill the seat formerly held by Congressman Donald Payne, Sr: Essex Freeholder and Newark Councilman Donald Payne Jr, Montclair Senator Nia Gill, Newark West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice, and Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith. Following the recent endorsement of two Newark councilmen for Ron Rice, comes the news of Hudson’s Line A to Nia Gill, plus, her endorsement from Sen. Cunningham. Donald Payne, Jr., with name recognition, Essex machine support and a large vote getter in his own right, remains the person to beat.

For more on the vote getting ability of each candidate and their prospects in different parts of CD 10, follow the fold

The Fog of Battle in the 10th CD

Although on the surface all appears quiet on the CD 10 front, a battle is brewing underneath and soon to come to a head. None of the three leading candidates, County Freeholder President  and Newark Councilman Donald Payne Jr, Montclair Senator Nia Gill and Newark Councilman Ron Rice, are waging a public, news-attracting battle. Only Rice has registered with the Federal Election Commission. Nonetheless, to run in the primary each must submit a petition by April 2.

To stand a chance to win the primary and thus ultimately the election, each seeks Line A support from one or more county Democratic committees. For several weeks it has appeared that Essex County political boss Steve Adubato, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and County Committee Chair Philip Thigpen (a Payne cousin) want to crown the legacy candidate Donald Payne, Jr. They view him as one whose name recognition makes him the most electable and one who is in support of their regime. With 57% of CD 10 in Essex this gives them and Donald Payne a substantial advantage. Hudson has 23% and Union has 20%. Senator Gill has support from Union’s political boss Senator Ray Lesniak and is seeking support in Hudson and Essex counties. Councilman Rice has campaigned in Hudson and Essex Counties and seeks support in Union as well. Whether Union and Hudson will make peace with Essex and bow to Essex’s wishes remains unclear.

Councilman Rice has an enviable progressive record and is well-known in Newark and the county. Senator Gill also has a strong progressive record, a history of taking on the Essex machine, and as a female would add an important component to our congressional delegation. Donald Payne, Jr. prior to elected office served in the New Jersey Highway Authority in the tolls division, worked at the Essex County Educational Services Commission as a school bus monitor and eventually supervisor of student transportation. For 20 years he carried out Democratic party tasks in the South Ward. It is hard to discern any distinguished contributions he has made as either Councilman or Freeholder President.

The fog of battle will clear shortly, and both Union and Hudson may bow to the wishes of Essex and provide a unified front. If endorsed by all three counties, Donald Payne, Jr. would be the winning candidate and maintain this seat in Democratic hands. (The seat would also be in the hands of the Essex machine.) The more independent Councilman Ronald C. Rice or Senator Nia Gill would bring a more distinguished record and more progressive values, but they have a tougher battle.  

Progressive Councilman Ronald C. Rice Announces His Candidacy for CD 10

“The next congressperson from the 10th cannot fill the large shoes left by Congressman Payne, but should build on his foundation. That means having a record of innovative and people oriented legislating, a record of advocating for progressive ideas and values even when not popular, and a new vision for empowering residents in the district as never before. I am that candidate and will present that record, advocacy and vision over the next two and a half months door to door, neighborhood to neighborhood, city to city and county to county, because it’s time.” – Ronald C. Rice (in a communication today to Blue Jersey)

Among the potential Democratic candidates West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice is the most compelling and progressive. He is the only one who has been actively campaigning and seeking donations in CD 10. He formed an exploratory committee in November before it was publicly known that Congressman Payne had cancer. In respect to Representative Payne, who was laid to rest yesterday, Rice did not comment on his own candidacy during the mourning period.

Ron Rice early demonstrated his progressive politics by supporting Howard Dean for President in 2003. As councilman he went on to sponsor far-reaching ethics reform, an LGBT Commission, and an Environmental Commission. He has worked to reform Newark’s Police Department, convened the Council’s first formal investigation, and collaborated with the NJ ACLU to track citizen complaints of police brutality which were frequently being ignored by the police department.

Most recently in a Blue Jersey diary he spoke out against the NYPD investigation of the Newark Muslim community. In an an October diary he called for the city’s administration to work more closely with the City Council on joint budget planning for FY 2012. In a May diary he expressed his concern that the conditions that created the precursor to the Newark rebellion, a police brutality event, have not been corrected for over 40 years. In a 2010 posting he castigated Governor Christie for blaming President Obama for New Jersey’s loss in the Race to the Top federal school education grant application.

Ron Rice first ran for city council in Newark in 2002 with Mayoral candidate Cory Booker in a losing effort documented in the Academy Award winning film “Street Fight.” In 2006, while Rice’s father contested Cory Booker for the mayoral race, Rice Jr. won the seat for West Ward Councilman. He was sworn into office in July along with newly elected Mayor Cory Booker. Always a progressive, among Rice’s early supporters was Garden State Equality which endorsed him as “one of the bright young thinkers in New Jersey today.” He also was the first elected official in New Jersey to endorse then Senator Barack Obama for President in late 2006. Rice served as a lead organizer for Obama’s primary campaign and as the Essex County Coordinator in the general election of 2008.

In 2010 he again won his West Ward race, this time overwhelmingly with 3,509 votes vs. Maryam Bey with 1,141. He was endorsed amongst others by SEIU who cited his “strong support of efforts to create better jobs.” Editor Rosi Efthim wrote about attending a comedy show fundraiser for this campaign in a Blue Jersey diary.

For more about Ron and the CD 10 landscape see below the fold

31 year old Jamel Holley elected Mayor of Roselle

promoted by Rosi

In 2004, 24 year old Jamel Holley was elected to his first term on the Roselle council. Last night, the 31 year old won the Democratic Nomination for Mayor of Roselle, which essentially means he is a lock to with in November, along with his 2 council allies who had overwhelming victories in their ward races. Hundreds of people poured into the Cavalier on Wood Avenue last night to congratulate Roselle’s next Mayor, who won by a near 2 to 1 margin.