Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Storch Wins Primary

Incumbent Second Ward Councilman Cory Storch overcame a primary challenge from newcomer James “Tony” Rucker, garnering 329 votes to Rucker’s 174.

Rucker said he will still stay involved in city affairs, especially in plans to develop the downtown, where he proposed building a technology center.

Rucker said he hopes to make a “multi-generational bridge” between young people and professionals in the community.

Storch could not be reached for comment, but Assemblyman Jerry Green credited party loyalty for the win.

“It was a team effort,” said Green, who is also the Democratic Party chairman. “People went in and they voted the line.”

Both Storch and Rucker created blogs to put forth their views. While Storch primarily stuck to issues, Rucker veered into posts that compared incumbents to trough-swilling hogs and denounced blogger Dan Damon for his perceived support of Storch.

On Tuesday, Rucker supporters sat at polling places with inflammatory signs that said Storch wanted to throw Park Hotel residents out on the street.

The blogs are still up, Storch here, Rucker here, if anyone wants to review them.

Storch covered a lot of territory – code enforcement, development, quality of life, public safety and sustainability, stating concerns and offering his solutions – while Rucker tended to generalize. Instead of a simple retort to Damon, he launched into a lengthy diatribe. He said the city accepted money for other towns’ fair housing obligations when it has always been a point of pride in Plainfield to refuse such arrangements. As for his vision of a technology center downtown, maybe he is not aware of past efforts to build a corridor on North Avenue for such applications.

If Storch wins in November over Republican Deborah Dowe, constituents have a road map in the blog to his goals for a second term.

In Plainfield’s system, Rucker could run next year for the citywide at-large seat. Asked about it last night, he demurred, saying that was “way ahead of the game” and voicing respect for incumbent Harold Gibson. Rucker said he might be interested in serving on city boards and he wants to be part of a conduit or platform for people to invest in downtown Plainfield.

Rucker certainly has a passion for Plainfield and its future. If he can learn more about the community and leave off the vitriol, he could play a significant role.

--Bernice Paglia


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