Elections

Murphy celebrates Democratic gubernatorial primary victory in Essex County

a32ee4c91e56f6bfd8e4_MurphyPrimaryVictory1200x800-1.jpg
Supporters at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark on primary night congratulate Phil Murphy, who won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
04ddb43aedb3eeca5945_MurphyPrimaryVictory1200x800-2.jpg
Phil Murphy, who won the Democratic gubernatorial nomination, accepts congratulations from supporters at the Robert Treat Hotel in Newark on primary night Credits: Mark J. Bonamo
a32ee4c91e56f6bfd8e4_MurphyPrimaryVictory1200x800-1.jpg

NEWARK, NJ - Phil Murphy claimed the 2017 Democratic nomination for governor in Newark on primary night, promising to both boost New Jersey and challenge President Donald Trump.

"I reject completely the us versus them leadership that defines Chris Christie and Donald Trump," said Murphy to a surging crowd of more than 1,200 people at the Robert Treat Hotel in downtown Newark on Tuesday night. "The lesson I've learned is this: it's not what you take, it's what you give back."

Murphy won convincingly over his Democratic primary rivals. With 93 percent of precincts reporting, Murphy, a retired Goldman Sachs executive and former U.S. Ambassador to Germany, won over 48 percent of the vote. Jim Johnson, an attorney from Montclair and an under secretary of the Treasury during the Clinton administration, and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) both hovered at around 21 percent. Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-Elizabeth) received around five percent of the vote.

Sign Up for E-News

In the November general election, Murphy will face Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, who defeated Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli in the Republican primary.  

Murphy launched his campaign early, in May 2016, campaigning in the state's largest city well before potential rivals, Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop or state Senate President Steve Sweeney, had an opportunity to jump into the race. 

Fulop and Sweeney unexpectedly withdrew their names from gubernatorial contention by October, which cleared a path for Murphy among party insiders, who closed ranks around the candidate last fall on the steps in front of the Essex County Historic Courthouse in Newark.

Many of Murphy's prominent early supporters in Newark, including former Newark Mayor Sharpe James, former Councilman Calvin West and Central Ward Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, were visible in the crowd Tuesday night.

"Some factions from Newark felt that Murphy was the best candidate at a time when Newark was evenly divided between Murphy, Sweeney and Fulop," said James, wearing a straw hat with an Essex County Democratic Line A handbill wedged into the brim. "We were outgunned and outnumbered, but we galvanized support along the way." 

Sen. Richard Codey, a former governor and senate president and a member of Team Murphy's kitchen cabinet who was in the front row as Murphy gave his victory speech, said Newark played a big role in Murphy's victory. 

Codey then grabbed Newark Mayor Ras Baraka, who initially supported Fulop for governor, warmly by the shoulder and said that Baraka's quick shift to Murphy also made a difference.

"Getting Baraka on board was huge," said Codey. "When Fulop got out, he was in. It was instantaneous."

While the treasure trove of Democratic votes in cities such as Newark play a key role in party primaries, many voters in big cities often feel abandoned as candidates reorient their policy platforms away from urban issues such as the high rate of home foreclosure and criminal justice reform. Instead, core suburban concerns such as fixing public train transit problems, fully funding suburban schools and reducing property taxes tend to come to the fore. 

Murphy has stated that he will not shift too far from urban concerns in the months to come, noting that he points out issues such as the white/non-white gap in prisoners incarcerated in the criminal justice system when he campaigns in suburban communities. 

Baraka pointed out that any divide between urban and suburban issues might be exaggerated. 

"Foreclosure is also a suburban issue," Baraka said. "All of these type of issues affect all working families in New Jersey. And all of them don't just live in the cities." 

Murphy ran off a litany of progressive policies during his speech that he said he would support if he makes it to the Statehouse, including raising the minimum wage to $15 dollars an hour, the restoration of the millionaires' tax, the legalization of marijuana beyond medical use, and improved infrastructure. 

He also pushed back against claims that his Wall Street past puts him out of touch with middle-class New Jerseyans, saying that he will "close loopholes that only benefit Wall Street money managers" if elected governor of the Garden State. 

The eyes of national political observers are locked in on New Jersey and Virginia, whose closely-watched gubernatorial contests are seen as referendums on Trump.

The Robert Treat Hotel is no stranger to presidential politics. President John F. Kennedy stayed in the hotel during his 1960 campaign, with his face etched in bronze by the hotel's front door in memory of his visit.

The ghost of Trump haunted Murphy's speech, with Murphy framing his New Jersey gubernatorial campaign within a panorama of resisting the president and his policies. 

Murphy, who grew up outside Boston, hearkened back to Kennedy's call to make a difference as he stood in the vortex of state and national politics on the hotel stage. 

"The very essence of America is now under assault. We have a president who thinks that tweeting is leadership. Make no mistake - what Donald Trump does in Washington matters right here," exhorted Murphy as he excoriated what he called President Trump's 'warped vision of America.' "We are better than Donald Trump and we are better than Chris Christie." 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Plainfield

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_cf52296cc36dd5e70d9f_aunt_bertha

Fri, June 22, 9:30 AM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Health Plainfield Aunt Bertha Demonstration

Carousel_image_9f83f68274e587851440_volunteering_6_22

Fri, June 22, 2:30 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Volunteering

Carousel_image_26acfa8d783bf5d09f61_petra_6_22_library

Fri, June 22, 3:00 PM

Plainfield Public Library, Plainfield

Petra's Musical Zoo

Reminder: Eligible Seniors Can Receive $25 in Free Vouchers for Farmer’s Markets, Starting June 25

June 21, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds income-eligible senior residents age 60 and over that they can apply for a total of $25 in free vouchers to purchase fresh produce. The vouchers may be used only at Farmer’s Markets in Union County that display a yellow and black WIC sign.

“Farmer’s Markets are a feature of community life throughout Union County in the ...

Get Empowered to Help Prevent Suicide

June 9, 2018

Dear Editor:

Over the past week social media and the news have been filled with stories and articles encouraging people to seek help if they’re in emotional distress. There have been countless articles about the need to break the silence around the topic of mental health and suicide, and I am encouraged by the support people are extending to others.

Often, the death by suicide by ...

North Plainfield Mom Maggie Grabko Gets Life-Saving Liver Transplant, Warren Fundraiser Set for Sunday

June 18, 2018

NORTH PLAINFIELD, NJ — Maggie Grabko, a North Plainfield mom of two, underwent a successful liver transplant on June 13, according to an update on the family’s GoFundMe page by her husband, Shawn Grabko. The Watchung Hills Elks are hosting a fundraiser, the Maggie Grabko Dinner and Music Fundraiser, at 1 Elks Trail in Warren on June ...

SRO'S - ENSEÑANDO POR EJEMPLO

June 17, 2018

Hay un grupo de oficiales de policía que les dan un servicio a nuestra comunidad de una manera notable. Todos los días estos hombres y mujeres se levantan, van al trabajo, y aseguran que nuestros hijos aprendan en un ambiente seguro. Los llamamos Oficiales de Recursos Escolares, pero son mucho más. 

Si llegas a la oficina de los Oficiales de Recursos Escolares en la ...

Empleando Nuestra Juventud 

Querido Plainfield, 

Todos esperan el verano; los días son más calientes y largos, y la madre tierra se pone su mejor vestido mientras las frutas se maduran en el sol y las flores ondean un alegre "hola". La gente comienzan los paseos de la playa o piscina, y las juntas de barbacoa en los patios son necesarios en los fines de semanas.

Aquí en la ciudad de ...

Meet Toran Smith: Union County All Star

June 18, 2018

Plainfield resident, Toran Smith, age 16, has been selected to play on the 2018 Union County underclassmen all star team.  On June 10th, the Union County All-Stars played against the Hudson County All-Stars at Kean University.  Smith played third baseman. 

Smith, a junior at Union County Vo-Tech magnet high school, is a Junior infielder on the Plainfield Cardinals Varsity ...

'Half Time' lights up Paper Mill stage

‘Half Time’ turns the tables on aging in gleeful production

By Liz Keill

MILLBURN, NJ – The Paper Mill Playhouse is putting on a smashing new production of “Half Time” to round out its current season.

With actress Georgia Engel in an engaging performance, the cast also features Donna McKehnie, Andre De Shieilds and Lilias White, among a host of other ...

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn (William Morrow, 2018)

 

A friend, whose opinion on literature I respect greatly, reported to me recently that she had just finished reading A.J. Finn's debut novel, The Woman in the Window. Of it she said, “I wish I hadn't finished it,” which I interpreted to mean, “It was so good I'm sorry that I finished it.” ...

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly

When the Men Go Off to War by Victoria Kelly (Naval Institute Press, 2015)

Victoria Kelly's first published volume of poetry, When the Men Go Off to War, is a wonder in that poems can be written so beautifully about the subject of war. Each poem is a jewel, polished and colorful, glittering with elegant imagery, and rich in emotional wallop. The book, divided into three sections, ...

The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani (Ballentine Books, 2005)

            The Queen of the Big Time by Adriana Trigiani, a New York Times best selling author, was recommended to me by a young woman who actually came from the town of Roseto, Pennsylvania, the place where the novel is set. “The author did such a wonderful job of describing how the town actually is,” said the young lady.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins

Into the Water by Paula Hawkins (Riverhead Books, 2017)

 

I wanted to like Into the Water by Paula Hawkins because I had enjoyed her previous novel, The Girl on the Train, which was a suspenseful thriller. However, when I finished reading the first part of the Into the Water, I realized that I had not absorbed anything that was happening in the story. I blamed myself for not paying ...