WASHINGTON D.C. - The bar was a press of business and pleasure and people looking increasingly confused as they tried to figure out which was which.
"They ought to have this in Atlantic City," said state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), who wasn't on the Chamber Train but who received his New Jersey cohorts on the carpet of the Marriott.
"If 900 people can come down here, the few dozen people who work here can get up there," said Sweeney, in a play for tourism for the ravaged Jersey Shore.
Gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) dominated trhe train trip, and Sweeney knows the excruciating details of the back story only too well about how he stripped Buono from her leadership chair, setting up one of the party's favorite rivalries.
All that's behind them, as far as he's concerned.
"I offered to do a fundraiser for Barbara in South Jersey," Sweeney told PolitickerNJ.com. "What people have to appreciate about her run for governor, and which I appreciate, is that she had the courage to give up her Senate seat to do this."
State Sen. Nia Gill (D-34) entered the hotel a few minutes ago, setting up that other intriguing dichotomy as she battles to hold onto her LD 34 Senate seat in the face of challenger Mark Alexander, a Seton Hall University law professor.
"I back Nia 1000 percent," said Sweeney in the face of sources jittery over Gill's sluggish fundraising numbers.
Sweeney said Gill will be able to depend on his leadership PAC in her re-election bid.
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"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop- PolitickerNJ.com
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