TRENTON – Presumptive Democratic Gubernatorial nominee Barbara Buono asserted her choice of state party chair as good for the party and good for her candidacy and denied Jason O’Donnell divides the party.
Her view has pitted her publicly against Senate President Steve Sweeney, (D-3), a fight she dismissed today as “inside baseball.”
Sweeney ally Sen. Jeff Van Drew worries O’Donnell will reopen old battle lines between those Democrats favoring the Gov. Chris Christie-backed public workers pension and benefits overhaul, and those who opposed the overhaul.
In the Legislature, Sweeney drove the overhaul.
A firefighter married to a teacher, O’Donnell opposed the pension and benefits package.
PolitickerNJ.com asked Buono if she meant, by choosing O’Donnell, to reassert the case against the bipartisan pen/ben package spearheaded by Sweeney and Christie, which requires more contributions by public workers to their healthcare and pensions.
“That has nothing to do with it,” the senator said.
Sweeney jabbed at Buono’s choice as a “beard” for ousted Assembly Majority Leader Joe Cryan, (D-20), but the gubernatorial candidate dismissed the Senate president’s critique.
“Jason O’Donnell is the best person for the job,” Buono said of her state party chair choice. “He is young and energetic and a great organizer.”
Trust and her comfort level with O'Donnell also played big for Buono, she said.
When Assemblyman Jason O'Donnell (D-31) tried to run across no man's land as the new chair of the Democratic State Committee, he figured he'd have at least his home county of Hudson behind him.Read More >
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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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