Monday, November 14, 2005

Nia Gill? 
Just last Friday, the spouse and I were talking about who Governor-elect Corzine might pick to replace himself in the US Senate. None of the conventional-wisdom candidates seemed particularly compelling - Menendez, Pallone, Andrews, Codey, Donald Payne, Rush Holt. One name did pop up out of the wild-blue yonder that seemed like a great one, though - the State Senator from Montclair - Nia Gill.

Gill is a progressive. She's got good political infighting-skills - after getting kicked off the party line in the 2004 primary, she ran off the line and soundly beat the choice of the Essex County machine. She's African-American - in multi-ethnic, multi-racial Northern NJ (where most of the voters are), that counts for a lot. And, well, she's a she. Women account for a significantly higher percentage of Democratic voters than do men. Essex County was Corzine's brightest bright spot last Tuesday, so her hometown is not an irrelevant detail. However far off in left-field Gill might seem, naming a politically savvy African-American woman from Essex County might score some real political points. New Jersey has never had a woman in the Senate, nor a person of color. Politically, geographically, demographically, Nia Gill seems to have the goods. For Corzine, who'd probably like to start out looking like someone who can think outside of the box, Gill is a choice that wouldn't lack for boldness.

As it turns out, the very day we had our idea about Gill, Scott Shields wrote at MyDD about her as a real Senatorial possibility, and Steve Kornacki was speculating about her at PoliticsNJ. Obviously, great minds think alike - or maybe we just tapped into the zeitgeist.

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