New Jersey state senator John A. Girgenti, the leading Democratic opponent of marriage equality, lost almost 75% of his town committee members in Tuesday's election. Gay advocates, stung by the defeat of the marriage equality bill this year, won the seats in the northern part of the state.
According to the Bergen Record, "In the Passaic County borough of Hawthorne, a major coup occurred. Democratic state [senator] John A. Girgenti was walloped in his hometown. He was backing a 26-person slate for Hawthorne Democratic Committee; 19 of his people were defeated. The big winner was Jeff Gardner, a vice chairman of Garden State Equality. His slate won the 19 seats."
Gardner attributed his win not to the marriage equality issue but to the fact that voters view Girgenti as out of touch. Even so, the veteran politician's loss could presage an election defeat in 2011, the year that marriage equality advocates pledged to target Girgenti, according to the Record.
"Steven Goldstein, president of Garden State Equality, made it clear earlier this year that after Girgenti's no votes on marriage equality, he would be a targeted member of the legislature in the 2011 elections," the Record stated. "For several years rumors of some Democrat rising to usurp Girgenti have circulated. After seeing almost his entire slate of committee members go down in flames, Girgenti has to realize that winning in 2011 is going to be tough."