LD 37 and a developing Democratic Party brawl

LD 37 Democrats are going a little meshuggah right now with the possibility of a convention fight. This involves Korean American politics going back to state Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg’s (D-37) vote against Gov. Chris Christie’s state Supreme Court nominee Phil Kwon, and it’s potentially ugly.

Worried about party fractures in a year when Gov. Chris Christie is at the top of the ticket, Democratic Party leaders are right now trying to stamp out the fuse on a rebellion emanating from Palisades Park.

Palisades Park Dems see the potential for Deputy Mayor Jason Kim, a well-known Korean American leader,  to go for an Assembly seat, very probably the one currently held by Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37).

That puts Weinberg especially in a very tough spot.

On paper, the politics are tantalizing.

Does the Senate majority leader protect Huttle, a shaky ally in the aftermath of a leadership brawl a year ago that elevated Weinberg and dropped Huttle – or does Weinberg cut Huttle loose in favor of shoring up an aggrieved Korean American community?

The short answer is Weinberg has already inked an alliance with Huttle.

Despite their differences, the two of them are set to run as a team again with Assemblyman Gordon Johnson (D-37).

But Palisades Park, in conjunction with some other LD 37 towns with party organizations not closely allied with Huttle, may not stand down from a convention fight next month.

Part of their case is that the district now has two Assembly people both from Englewood, a dynamic that does not accurately represent the entirety of the 37th.

"The governor still has to come to bat."
—Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson, on Atlantic City.