Meeting her in Middlesex, DiVincenzo 'building relationship' with Buono
State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) campaigns last November in Monmouth County. By Max Pizarro | January 14th, 2013 - 8:48pm
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As their arch-enemy keeps his name circulating as gubernatorial timber, two familiar Democratic Party faces from Essex County showed up in Middlesex this afternoon for a private meeting with state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18), Metuchen.

It was powerful Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo and his chief of staff, Phil Alagia.

A source close to the interview – the second among the trio following an encounter last month first reported by PolitickerNJ.com – described it as a “getting to know you” more than anything.

The source said DiVincenzo and Alagia don’t believe either their political enemy state Sen. Richard Codey (D-27) or their political ally Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) will run for governor.

But while Codey tries to figure out what he’s doing, DiVincenzo and Alagia don’t mind putting off some psychological warfare optics by having a friendly coffee with Buono in a show of relationship building with the gubernatorial candidate from Middlesex.

The two Essex Demcorats don’t want Codey because Codey could spark a party civil war and play havoc with DiVincenzo’s 2014 re-election chances. They won’t want Sweeney because that would force Sweeney to give up his Senate presidency and upset a balance of power that now enables them to maintain leadership in the Assembly.

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"Potentially, we can get this done, because it's important. We get it. We understand it. But there are issues. There's the speedy trial component. How are we going to pay for this? How is the risk-assessment piece of it going to be done?" - Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32), on bail reform.

- The Asbury Park Press

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