The race is on! Smart Money Picks for Governor Come 2025
The snooze fest replacing a 2021 gubernatorial election already has insiders – newly unleashed on state stools in the supposed wake of the COVID-19 disaster – heading into 2025.
Of course, the best candidate for Democrats is someone who honors party organizations and their agents while not forcing them to work. This results in someone with no track record who has a lot of money; which means he can pay the people who do his mail, who can essentially make up a story for him rather than having to counter a real story that they fear will be destroyed by an opponent. He or she can also invest money in his or her own campaign rather than having to depend on party organizations to organize push-ups and sit-ups during an election year.
The party needs someone pleasant to the Presidents of North Jersey who can neutralize the ever-ambitious Senate Speaker Steve Sweeney (D-3), while allowing the Presidents to stay focused on the more important work of lobbying the Party. president of the Senate on behalf of their corporate clients and maintain friendly relations with the establishment, beginning with Sweeney.
In other words, they love Sweeney – they just want him to stay there as Speaker of the Senate to keep current, long-standing structures intact.
Democrats thrived with Jon Corzine and Phil Murphy in power, relying on neophyte executives who would never really interfere with the party’s trade trajectory, and keep their aspirations firmly fixed on domestic destinations.
The problem with Corzine, of course, is that he couldn’t beat Chris Christie, but they solved that little glitch in the post-Christie era by recruiting another Goldman Sachs veteran – this time with a personality.
It seems to have worked, in time for party organizations to massively line up in support of Murphy (although the jury is still out on the details of Horizon’s restructuring), as Republican frontrunner Jack Ciattarelli tries to survive a first brawl with the Capitol desecrating his party’s wing. If he overtakes Hirsh Singh, Ciattarelli will meet the same establishment enthusiasm for his candidacy as Barbara Buono for hers against Christie in 2013.
Republicans shouldn’t fear, however. Former President Donald J. Trump lives in New Jersey and will undoubtedly have a political interest in recruiting someone with enough independence to allow Trump’s agents to run his campaign at Bedminster Golf Course in London. former president, with a nod of approval from Christie.
With all of this in mind, the question becomes, who exactly will show up in 2025, on the other side of the love of 2021?
A few possibilities appear below.
As the former president of Harvard University, she is “well positioned to provide insight into the company’s diversity, recruitment and retention strategies,” according to the Goldman Sachs website, where she works. . There remain questions about residency – as if she actually lives in New Jersey – and political ambition, as if she has it or not. But she works at Goldman, which is a huge head start in New Jersey.
Mark A. Flaherty
Mr. Michèle Burns
Mark O. Winkelman
Ellen J. Kullman
The party already knows that the incumbent President of the Senate aspires to a place on the executive throne. The question is whether he can convincingly sell himself to the public based on the fact that he tried to undermine his own party’s governor for three years before reluctantly retreating during the COVID-19 pandemic . The party may have to force it if it has enough support in the caucus to continue as Senate Speaker and not cede power to someone else (like Senator Joe Vitale, for example). ) only if it obtains the full support of the 21 party organizations. (or at least Middlesex and Essex; or at least South Jersey and Middlesex) for governor.
United States Representative Mikie Sherrill
In case they don’t find a sufficiently progressive Goldman Pygmalion, Northern Party sources seem ready to side with Sherrill to stop Sweeney. This could be a politically risky move for organizations, as Sherrill – a retired Sea King helicopter pilot – possesses something of anathema to well-heeled party leaders: a genuine public service record. But if Sweeney tries to lure Middlesex into his statewide column in exchange for Vitale for the Senate Presidency, Hudson, Bergen and Passaic could potentially lure the Democratic President of Essex County (and, in a few days, State Party President LeRoy Jones in their column supporting home county pol Sherrill.
Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver
See above. Jones will have to sit Sherrill and Oliver down to determine who between them will be missing from Essex. If Murphy leaves early to join the Biden administration, or to show up on a national ticket with Kamala Harris, Oliver will clearly have the job advantage. She will also, as always from the start when Essex recommended her to serve as Murphy’s LG – have the built-in organizational advantage of Essex, and the long-drawn-out anxiety of a huge Democratic Party-dominated county that since 2002 has essentially allowed himself to serve at the discretion of South Jersey (with a few exceptions, such as when Jones backed Murphy for the governorship instead of Sweeney before the 2016 election, and made the deal with John Currie for the Presidency of the State Party without waiting for the phone call from South Jersey).
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka
Since winning against most of the party establishment in 2014, Baraka has mostly played it safe, avoiding controversial progressive causes just for the sake of being a mayor who needs establishment relations. not a horned cowboy in constant teardown mode. . Yet those who keep track of the slow decline of New Jersey politics cannot forget Baraka’s challenge to the machine when it came into being. This dying cycle might have been the perfect time for him to raise hell, but in fairness to the mayor of Newark, he saw no one among the insurgent forces who had put in enough time and energy. to an anti-establishment cause to risk its own political neck. That could change if and when the mayor of Newark decides to run statewide.
State Senator Vin Gopal
If the leader of the LD-11, already proven in combat, succeeds in his candidacy for re-election this year, he will have established himself as a real force to be reckoned with in his party, with relations around the state that will make him an actor of power every time the discussions turn. as governor.
Speaker Craig Coughlin
If Sweeney falters, or the north gets stuck in an Oliver-Baraka-Sherrill war, or another Goldman guy stumbles across the landscape and doesn’t impress anyone early on, the game manager’s ultimate quarterback can simply decide who ‘he’s tired of just filling the role of leading official in the lower house and responding to a sudden spasm of real personal ambition. Remember, most lawmakers in Trenton consider themselves to be governor or president.
Senator Mike Testa
Republican State Senator LD1 impressed people on both sides with his aggressive and substantial first two years in office. A gifted orator with excellent political instincts, Testa has made himself a power player in South Jersey in his party to compete with the longtime Democrats’ machinery and would excel at any stage where politicians are actually debating problems. Admittedly, he currently has the disadvantage of struggling in a party damaged by the back-to-back failures of Christie and Trump, but Testa has enough talent to beat the odds.
Senator Holly Schepisi
This year, the Bergen County Republican was sworn in as the newest member of the Senate and, thanks to her fearless presence in the Assembly and her solid grasp of issues, especially those in her chosen field. , must be in every governor’s conversation. Some pairings of her and Testa or, as InsiderNJ columnist Alan Steinberg once wrote – Sen. Declan O’Scanlon – offers the downed NJ GOP a compelling new start.
Attorney General Gurbir Grewal
Most insiders expect him to leave the Murphy administration in November, and although he has told people he will not be running for a statewide job, others don’t see it as a spoiler. As to who Murphy intends to replace him with: the names Matt Platkin (former attorney for the governor), Middlesex County Sheriff Millie Scott and Assembly Member John McKeon (D-27) are circulating , among others, with Platkin the successor to smart money, according to a party source.
Former Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin
He probably doesn’t live in New Jersey, but his strong credentials as a former Goldman Sachs with roots in the Trump administration give Republicans someone with whom to strike back at Democrats in case the Ds turn to. one of the other aforementioned Goldman names or someone else. like Corzine and Murphy.
Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop
Like Sweeney, the mayor of New Jersey’s most populous city has always wanted the governorship. The fact that the Urban Democrat played that 2021 round in Edison – hosting a small, intimate fundraiser for Sam Joshi – shows his potential to be in statewide politics again. Maybe he has real plans to get out of the pack, or forge a political alliance with Middlesex and scramble the North in order to give Middlesex a stronger game. It’s interesting.
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