Prieto Won’t Seek 3rd Assembly Speaker Term, Backs Coughlin
TRENTON – Democrats have a new leader in the New Jersey Assembly. Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto on Thursday announced he would not seek a third term, endorsing Assemblyman Craig Coughlin to replace him. Coughlin, an ally of Senate President Steve Sweeney with whom Prieto had clashed, announced his bid to oppose Prieto earlier this year.
Murphy Appoints BDS Supporter to Lead Community Affairs
TRENTON – New Jersey Gov.-elect Phil Murphy on Thursday appointed his lieutenant governor to lead the state department that played a key role in helping the state recover from Superstorm Sandy. Sheila Oliver, who will take the helm of the Department of Community Affairs, came under fire during the campaign for her support for boycotting Israel.
Syracuse Bucks Major Parties, Elects Independent Mayor
SYRACUSE – In an election that tilted toward Democrats in many places, voters in Syracuse broke with both major parties and elected an independent as mayor. Ben Walsh, 38, captured 54 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s four-way race, the first time the city elected an independent since 1913. Walsh, the son of former Republican Rep. Jim Walsh, succeeds Democrat Stephanie Miner.
Votes Still Being Counted in Upstate County Executive Race
ALBANY – Republican Steve McLaughlin declared victory in Tuesday’s Rensselaer County executive election but Democrat Andrea Smyth isn’t conceding. She said Wednesday that she wants to make sure every vote is counted. McLaughlin was ahead by 950 votes. Counting the final votes could take several days.
Democrats Retake Executive Races in Westchester, Nassau
NEW YORK – Democrats took two county executive races from the GOP in Tuesday’s election. State Sen. George Latimer beat incumbent Republican Rob Astorino in Westchester County. And in Nassau County, Democrat Laura Curran defeated Republican Jack Martins. The incumbent, Ed Mangano, did not run for reelection.
Governor-elect Discusses Transition With Christie
TRENTON – New Jersey’s next governor and the current governor met Thursday to discuss the transfer of power. Democrat Phil Murphy and the man he is replacing, Republican Gov. Chris Christie, talked about the Jan. 16 transition. Murphy chose former Gov. John Corzine to head his transition.