Winners and Losers: Week of the South Jersey Sphinx

WINNERS 

Barbara Buono

The Middlesex senator and 2013 gubernatorial candidate received statements of support from South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross III and Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, and the backing of the Monmouth County Democratic Committee.

Vin Gopal

The chairman of the Monmouth Democratic Committee endorsed Buono prior to Norcross and DiVincenzo issuing their statements favoring Buono’s candidacy, which makes the progressive chairman appear to have exercised independent judgment.

Frank Lautenberg

President Barack Obama incorporated the senator’s legislation to ban high-capacity ammunition magazines holding more than 10 rounds into his national gun safety plan. In addition, the President’s recommendations to strengthen background checks would require background checks for all guns sold at gun shows, as Lautenberg’s bill to close the gun show loophole seeks.

Steve Fulop

32BJ SEIU, one of the fastest-growing unions in New Jersey, announced this week its endorsement of the councilman for mayor of Jersey City. As part of its endorsement, the union is committed to a voter outreach campaign in support of his election. That’s the good news for Fulop, enough to land him on this list. The bad news is ex-Seton Hall University basketball player Jerry Walker got in the mayor’s race, removing the likelihood of Fulop being able to defeat incumbent Mayor Jerry Healy without a runoff election.

Republican State Committee

The GOP organization raised $3.2 million, spent $3.5 million, and has $247,579 cash on hand, compared to the NJ Democratic State Committee, which raised $1.3 million, spent $1.3 million, and has $81,794 cash on hand.

Count Wiley

The West New York Commissioner – a potential future candidate for mayor – scored news coverage as the sole commissioner on the governing body who refused to support a controversial sign infringement ordinance.

LOSERS

Chris Christie

The New Jersey governor, and national GOP leader, this week again refused to give his opinion on a federal ban on assault weapons, giving ammo to his Democratic opponent and revealing how his road to re-election – with one eye on 2013 and the other on 2016 – won’t necessarily be a cakewalk. This designation is, of course, pending the next poll showing New Jersey voters not caring and still digging the governor. 

Cory Booker

No one on a conference call of county party chairs this week objected when one of them blamed the mayor of Newark for bottling up the gubernatorial process and contributing to party havoc.

The Democratic State Committee

The organization raised $1.3 million, spent $1.3 million, and has $81,794 cash on hand, compared to the GOP State Committee, which raised $3.2 million, spent $3.5 million, and has $247,579 cash on hand. This might be a more serious problem but for Booker’s promise to raise a lot of money for the party to help down ballot races this year. 

Felix Roque

Under indictment for computer hacking, the mayor’s championing of an ordinance limiting signs and mobile campaign vans appeared to be paranoid overkill this week and empowered his rivals with a Freedom of Speech issue.

Ronald C. Rice

The elders of Newark politics this week threw their support behind South Ward Councilman Ras Baraka over Rice as the group’s 2014 mayoral candidate. It doesn’t mean the end of Rice’s bid to be chief executive, but he will have to work harder or change his game plan. Anyone looking for a county executive?

"The possible 2017 contender for the governorship shouldered Thanksgiving birds alongside Stack, who took the insanity of his annual turkey drive to another level this year, launching a 20,000-bird door-to-door offensive."
—PolitickerNJ