Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Peter Barnes will throw his support behind Kevin McCabe, the man he beat for the chairmanship two years ago, according to two sources familiar with the turning of political events in the sprawling Central Jersey county.
A former Assemblyman, Barnes took over the party with the support of Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) after Chairman Joe Spicuzzo melted down amid corruption charges related to his job as county sheriff.
Widely respected, former FBI man Barnes defeated McCabe at the Middlesex Dems Convention two years ago.
In his 80s, the veteran chairman was ready to go again come June.
But Wisniewski's peel off from Barnes and Smith earlier this week signified the end of the Barnes era, as more party leaders followed with endorsements, making it increasingly mathematically difficult for the sitting chairman to obtain another year as head of the party.
Presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) backed McCabe for chair in 2011's losing cause that at the time she said would materialize as a victory when McCabe succeeds Barnes.
Come June, the succession will finalize.
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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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