The politics of Rutherford has had a shift in power from the beginning of the 2000s to the end of the 2000s. In the early 2000s, Bernadette McPherson was mayor of Rutherford from 2000-2007 after serving on council for one year in 1999. During her term, she led a Democratic dominant council in Rutherford. She was known as a supporter for EnCap along with George Fecanin(D). The makeup of the council was beginning to change when in 2006, Republican John C. Genovesi took a seat in the council. The following year, McPherson lost her mayor seat to John Hipp(originally a Democrat who helped McPherson but changed parties). The reasons many people voted for John Hipp in lieu of McPherson was due to the EnCap situation and the rising taxes of Rutherford. The McPherson administration also supported a wall which blocks route 3 while many Rutherfordians did not support this idea due to the Meadowlands having an amusement park/entertainment center known as Xanadu.
New council members took over the council and supported Mayor Hipp. Rose Inguanti and John Sasso took the council seats after defeating Ray Frazier and Richard Reyes. The Republican presence was dominant in the local government(mayor + 3 Republican council members and 3 Democratic council members). In 2009, it was the turning point for the council. The council was slowly returning to Democratic control with the election of John C. Parnofiello after winning by one vote from absentee ballots against Todd Hennessey after Hennessey was announced the winner the night of the election. Due to the small margin, Hennessey and Parnofiello had to have another election to confirm the winner of the election in March 2010. The 2009 council election between Hennessey and Parnofiello made some officials believe there was fraud. Some individuals have suggested former councilwoman Maura Keyes was behind part of the fraud when she allowed her family member from Ireland to vote on an absentee ballot when this family member was not part of the Rutherford community. Friends of Parnofiello who had moved out of Rutherford were questioned to see if they voted illegally in Rutherford. After the special election, Parnofiello was still known as the winner of the council seat. Some Republicans analyzed the election and believed the lack of unity within the party created an opening for Parnofiello to have the Democratic party slowly take control of the Rutherford mayor and council.
Rutherford’s politics changes year by year in regards to council control even though NJ Senate District 36 seats for state senator and state assembly have remained Democratic. The council elections do not remain static, however, in regards to Democratic or Republican control. Even within Rutherford politics, there are fractions of people within the party themselves who are fighting amongst each other