Saturday, June 6, 2009

Plainfield Primary Election - what does it mean?

The people have spoken. In this case I am referring to the people of the Democratic Party. Sharon Robinson - Briggs won. Congratulations to her and to Bridget Rivers, our incoming 4th Ward Council representative. Jerry Green also won and although he may face a bit more competition in November, he has to be the heavy favorite to win.

Here is how I see it. I will try not to spin this as heavily as some have done, but readers know my bias.

1. Assembly - Jerry Green received roughly twice as many votes as Rick Smiley. Jerry received 38% of the total votes and Rick had 18%. Rick ran a campaign with very little money and he concentrated almost entirely on one town in the election district - Plainfield. His Plainfield total was very close to Assemblyman Green's, a remarkable achievement in my opinion. I looked at the Senate and Assembly races state-wide. Of all the Democratic races, Rick Smiley had the highest percentage of votes of any challenger. This seat is up again in two years. The Assemblyman has some serious exposure.

2. Mayor - another close race. Along with Smiley, Adrian Mapp had much less money and a disadvantageous ballot position. For those of you who did not vote (shame on you), column B had the Governor, state legislative, state committee, Freeholder, Mayor and local committee candidates. Column F, all the way over to the right, had Smiley, Mapp and one or two local committee candidates. Visually a real advantage to the incumbents. The bottom line is that Mayor Sharon gets another 4 years. I hope she is thinking about doing more than counting to 4 votes on this years City Council, considering what the future will bring.

3. Plainfield Democratic City Committee - the New Democrats held 10 seats in the outgoing committee and will now have 28 seats. There are 68 seats and 35 are needed to elect the new chairman. It would appear that Jerry Green will continue as chair. This is the most powerful position in Plainfield politics although Jerry does not like me to say it. He is sensitive to the term "boss" when applied to him. When I say it, I do not mean to insult but merely to call it what it is. An interesting test of how much a boss Jerry is will be the approach he takes at the City Committee re-organization meeting this coming Monday. I have asked him to have the election of chairman done by secret ballot. Then if Jerry's 40 votes hold, he can claim that the committee members truly support him for reasons other than intimidation.

4. Bob Ferraro and Tom Turner for Mayor got virtually no votes. It is widely believed that Bob was running as a favor to Jerry Green. You may remember my comments from a previous blog.

5. I thought Carol Brokaw for Mayor would do much better than the results showed. Was it the PMUA concerns or that she hardly campaigned. Probably both, I think.

6. The Martin Cox mayoral campaign would be an interesting story if I knew for sure why he ran. Time may tell.

I am feeling more hopeful for Plainfield even though the people I supported did not win. I was part of a campaign that affirmed the goodness, talent and commitment in Plainfield that I have always appreciated. To my fellow campaign team members: there is no losing team I would rather be on than this team. Let's win next time.

No comments: