Politicker NJ: War rages in Newark under cover of Lautenberg-Andrews primary

War rages in Newark under cover of Lautenberg-Andrews primary
Long, winding back story about the how the war over Lautenburg’s Senate seat is playing out in the streets of Newark. I’ve got to hand it to Max Pizarro at Politicker NJ: he’s a better man than I am to track the arduous and clandestine battles in New Jersey’s political landscape.

In a Senate primary year, it’s a complicated fracas in Newark right now that is more about county politics than U.S. Senate politics, more about local respect than Iraq War policy, and maybe more about Adubato than five City Council people – including James – embracing a relatively obscure South Jersey congressman over Lautenberg.

On the last point, James insists no.

“You look at Andrews’s upbringing,” says the councilman. “A lot of people here can relate to it. He had a hard-nosed upbringing and his record is similar to Lautenberg’s. But Lautenberg is a long-time removed from this, while Andrews is not.”

Meanwhile, Mayor Cory Booker and four council people back Lautenberg.

“I can tell you how the West Ward is going to vote,” says Councilman Ronald Rice, son of the senator, a Booker ally and campaign surrogate for Lautenberg. “Andrews is trying to cherry pick votes, but in a low turnout election you’re looking at a lot of seniors who are going to be voting, and Lautenberg has a very good reputation with them.”

Booker supports Lautenberg in part to build his alliance with Sen. President Richard Codey (D-Essex), who cannot abide a threat to his territory in the form of Andrews by the powerful South Jersey Democratic Organization.

But the mayor has his own long-term, local challenge, and that is to gain traction to fight both the Paynes and Adubato.

Author: Ken Walker

Husband, Father, Analyst. In a glass case of emotion since 1978.

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