In the lead-up to next month’s Democratic National Convention in Charlotte, Newark Mayor Cory Booker and his political consultant Mark Matzen are meeting face-to-face with county chairs and making it known that Booker is weighing a run for governor and plans to decide by December, according to party sources.
Some Democrats see Booker as the only 2013 option against Republican Gov. Chris Christie.
By virtue of his fundraising ability, charisma and potential to transcend a fragmented state party, others see him, at the very least, as the preferred nominee.
“He’s the most viable candidate who comes to mind at this moment,” said Charlotte DeFilippo, chair of the Union County Democratic Committee.
DeFilippo likes her home county leader, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage, as a candidate if Booker does not choose to challenge Christie.
So does DeFilippo’s fellow Union County power player, state Sen. Ray Lesniak, (D-20), who has repeatedly publicly stated his preference as Booker first and Bollwage second.
One party source said he didn’t necessarily read Booker’s accelerated appearances before the chairs as an indication that the Newark mayor is leaning toward taking on Christie.
“I don’t know what he ultimately plans to do,” said the source.
Another party source said as Democrats get closer to the national convention and Christie grabs headlines as the imminent keynoter at next week’s Republican confab in Tampa, national Democrats are alert to recruiting a counterpoint – someone who can present more than token opposition in next year’s gubernatorial contest.
UPDATE: Newark beat reporter David Giambusso of the Star-Ledger reports today that Booker will address the DNC to present the party's platform, making the mayor the only member of the New Jersey delegation (so far) to have a speaking role at the Democratic convention.
A former administrator and a former shop foreman at the Passaic Valley Sewerage Commission were convicted at trial today of charges that they directed subordinate employees to complete repairs or improvements at private homes while on-duty for the PVSC, according to Acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Greenstein versus Watson Coleman in Princeton PRINCETON – When Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Chairman Jim Durbin announced a second ballot runoff tonight and the losers headed for the back of the room, he alerted committee members to the names of the two surviving competitors. But people already...
BY JEFF BRINDLE Anytime now, the U.S. Supreme Court will render a decision in McCutcheon v. FEC. And while reformists may not like it, the high court is likely to allow national parties to raise far more money. That could strengthen them... Read More >
"The governor has allowed political cronyism to continue and even flourish, rather than stamp it out, with some of his closest confidants enriching themselves through millions of dollars in state contracts, and legal and lobbying fees, an Asbury Park Press review of thousands of pages of campaign, lobbying and contracting documents found."- The Asbury Park Press
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