Gov. Phil Murphy
The most powerful elected official in New Jersey. It doesn’t matter who sits on the throne, the governorship of this state represents one of the most powerful elected offices in the country, even on those occasions – critical during COVID-19 region-sensitive times – when the occupant takes his cues from New York. Heading into a reelection year, says he has his dream job.
Mayor Ras Baraka
Educated, the Newark leader actually has a cultural context in which to make humane decisions about his city. It’s a stunning command position in a contemporary atmosphere in which self-referencing usually forms the extent of an elected official’s knowledge base.
Senator Ronald L. Rice
No one tells the Newark senator what to do except the people who elected him – a rarity in New Jersey.
U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell
Starting with his early call for President Donald J. Trump to release his tax returns, the old school Paterson congressman got in Trump’s face and stayed there, like an army drill sergeant riding a grunt on KP duty.
U.S. Rep. Mikie Sherrill
The North Jersey congresswoman – a former Navy helicopter pilot – has shamed an entire generation of male elected officials who thought that collecting dust as the instruments of the wills of unelected bosses was enough to answer to the designation “man.” In her first reelection bid this year, she beat down her Republican opponent by an unofficial tally of 186,050 to 146,435 (56-44%).
U.S. Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman
The Mercer-based congresswoman got to the dance on her own merits and has maintained her own progressive vision in Congress. Walked over a Republican challenger last Tuesday.
U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew
Democrats couldn’t get rid of the South Jersey Republican (a former Democrat) this year, though they tried. He convincingly defeated general election challenger Amy Kennedy 52-47%.
Senator Dick Codey
The former governor has emerged as a beloved elder statesman. An independent-thinking gem.
Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg
The Bergen-based senator is a cagey backroom operator, and a North Jersey champion of liberal causes and good government (see her role in Bridgegate).
Senate Pres. Steve Sweeney
The senate president had a good year in the halls of Trenton, guaranteeing that the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) will not again try to run the most expensive legislative race in American history against him.
U.S. Senator Bob Menendez
U.S. Senator Cory Booker
The ebullient junior senator destroyed his sadly overmatched Republican challenger by 61-37%.
Senator Troy Singleton
Aggressive and intellectually hyperactive on the bills-writing front, the BurlCo-based state senator has also excelled politically in his home county, where Democrats have more than just taken over.
Speaker Craig Coughlin
Mild-mannered lower house game manager.
Senator Mike Testa
Powerhouse South Jersey Republican state senator from Cumberland County.
U.S. Rep. Andy Kim
The BurlCo-based congressman mowed down his Republican challenger this year with a crushing 2-1 margin of victory in his home county.
Bergen County Executive Jim Tedesco
The first responder county leader showed courage and compassion during the early ravaging days of COVID-19 at ground zero in Bergen. He will not soon be forgotten.
U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer
The financially well-connected incumbent Democrat never gave any oxygen to his Republican challenger, beating him unofficially by a margin of 54-44%.
Senator M. Teresa Ruiz
She’s really come into her own, the Newark-based state senator who chairs the Senate Education Committee, leaving no significant urban-community-impact legislation unattended.
U.S. Rep. Tom Malinowski
The Central Jersey-based congressman put a humiliating 54-46% beatdown on a hapless campaign-thrashing Tom Kean Jr.
Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop
No one pushes the Marine around, a rarity in New Jersey politics. Faces reelection next year.
Essex Freeholder President Brendan Gill
Close to Governor Murphy. Essex eyes and ears.
Senator Joe Vitale
Middlesex-based senator, chair of the Senate Health Committee, distinguished himself in the COVID crisis. Possible future senate president.
Senator Nick Scutari
The Senate Judiciary Chairman has tried to provide clarity amid the pot haze of legalization.
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone
Powerful energy-minded seaside congressman.
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith
Don’t mess with the Republican who depends on major love from Ocean County.
Atlantic City Mayor Marty Small
He had a strong year, winning the referendum election, then the primary, then the general, to secure the remainder of a term currently held by corruption-catapulted Frank Gilliam. Goes for the full, four-year term next year.
Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo
Powerful Essex County brand.
U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross
Gave South Jersey Democrats something to celebrate this year. Ventured north (above) during campaign season.
Senator Joe Cryan
The Union-based senator has one of the best policy minds in the state. Possible future senate president.
Westfield Mayor Shelley Brindle
The boss of Westfield, up for reelection next year.
U.S. Rep. Donald Payne, Jr.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick
Placeholder for a self-funder Republican candidate for governor next year along the lines of a Bob Hugin or John Crowley.
Paterson Mayor Andre Sayegh
Local leader of New Jersey’s third biggest city, who injects into any room the energy of a skydiver jumping out of an airplane.
Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin
Effective Budget Committee chair.
Assemblyman John McKeon
Intellectually astute lawmaker put his fingerprints on many of the most significant pieces of legislation this year.
Assemblyman Ryan Peters
A Navy SEAL. Not too many of those floating around New Jersey politics. It is said that they’re already polishing a senate seat for him.
Senator Paul Sarlo
Pragmatic South Bergen senator.
Senator Nia Gill
The best inquisitor in the state senate.
Senator Nellie Pou
Reform-minded senator from Passaic County.
Senator Declan O’Scanlon
New Jersey will not soon forget the guy – a staunch Republican – who not long ago stopped that horrible camera-ticketing scheme.
Assemblyman Benjie Wimberly
The tough guy football sideline prowler coached a Super Bowl champion.
Irvington Mayor Tony Vauss
Strong city manager mayor with impressive political chops.
Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin
Somerset Freeholder Director Shanel Robinson
Now leads an all-Democrat freeholder board after this year’s D sweep.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo
Old school principled lawmaker.
Assemblyman Gary Schaer
Passaic City power broker, in tandem with Mayor Hector Lora.
Assemblyman John Burzichelli
Policy-astute lawmaker. Budget expert.
Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora
Local leader of New Jersey’s capital city.
U.S. Rep. Albio Sires
Likeable, perennially affable congressman from Hudson.
Hoboken Mayor Ravi Bhalla
Up for reelection next year.
Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz
She’s so powerful and independent, they rearranged the election to make it 50% plus one, which she now faces, probably against Councilman Helmin Caba.
Senator Vin Gopal
Rising Democratic Party star from Monmouth County.
Somerset County Clerk Steve Peter
The final VBM totals in his county were 183,000 – or what he predicted. The Board is still working on Provisionals.
Assemblyman Brian Bergen
Crusty Republican from Morris County makes a habit of (trying) to keep Democrats honest in Trenton.
Bridgewater Mayor Matt Moench
Talented local Republican from Somerset County’s biggest town.
Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake
Came on strong in 2020 on the COVID-19 legislative front.
She just did a VBM election in a red county where she brought in 85% turnout (best in the state) and 1400 provisional ballots (lowest in the state). ‘Nuff said.
Hamilton Mayor Jeff Martin
Leader of key swing town.
(Visited 1,539 times, 1,711 visits today)