What's at stake on Tuesday night for Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe?
By Max Pizarro | June 1st, 2014 - 12:18am
| More

A patient Kevin McCabe threatened the other half of the county with the muscle of the Carpenters and Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac and state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-19) behind him, came up short, then bided his time to take charge of a fractured and wounded Middlesex County Democratic Committee.

That was 2011.

He assumed control last year as chairman, replacing respected former FBI man Peter Barnes, Sr., who in his first run for the job had the backing of state Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-18).

Once removed from jailed Chairman Joe Spicuzzo, McCabe soon found himself confronted with the test of trying to get Tom Lankey into office in Edison with Gov. Chris Christie at the top of the ticket and Democrats divided between Lankey and wobbly incumbent independent Democrat Toni Ricigliano.

He passed that test.

Then he turned around in 2014 faced with the biggest one yet of his young career as chairman upon the announced retirement of U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12): a chance to pick up a congressional seat for Middlesex for the first time since 1993.

That’s what’s at stake Tuesday night for the Woodbridge-reared McCabe, still in his early 40s, who possesses something of the American Eagle ivory carved cane and top hatted quality of another era of Democratic Party politics, who learned what he knows in part from former Middlesex County Democratic Chairman John Lynch.

Backing state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14) of Middlesex, McCabe has played a key behind-the-tinted-windows role for his candidate, who needs big numbers out of her home county Tuesday to beat her chief rival, Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15) of Mercer.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, a source close to county politics said Middlesex sees the CD12 race as “Linda’s to lose.”

Buoyed by monster vote-by-mail results ahead of the June 3rd Democratic Primary election, according to one party source, pursued to offset projected Watson Coleman strength in Plainfield, some insiders nonetheless continue to nurse concern about the impact on Greenstein’s totals of Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula (D-17) of Franklin Twp., whose legislative district includes a chunk of Middlesex.

Chivukula’s up for re-election next year.

Although he felt offended that McCabe wouldn't honor him with an interview after Holt announced his retirement, the assemblyman lacks the support toward his upstart congressional run of his longtime ticket mates, Smith and Assemblyman Joe Egan (D-17).

Smith's neutral.

Egan backs Greenstein in the name of Middlesex unity.

“If Linda loses, he’ll have to be dealt with,” the source said, referring to Chivukula. “This is the second biggest county in the state behind Bergen. If Upendra prevents Middlesex from getting a congressman, that’s a big deal.”

But that’s not McCabe’s immediate concern.

Right now, he wants to get Greenstein the win.

Sources in Middlesex concede the Greenstein Campaign has not shown sleekness in the lead up to Tuesday, but one source close to McCabe said that even with the Chivukula factor, he’s convinced that in their head-to-head Mercer-Middlesex showdown, Greenstein will grab more votes out of Mercer than Watson Coleman will out of Middlesex.

Countering Watson Coleman advocates who argue that key party leaders, including Mercer County Democratic Chair Liz Muio, have special motivation to beat Greenstein after she insulted county committee people at a March meeting, the source said Greenstein’s ability to capitalize on having served a slice of suburban Mercer for years will prove the difference as she seeks to build on home county totals.

Behind Chairman McCabe, “Middlesex,” the county party source said, “is on lockdown.”   

The Back Room

Sources: Why Fox?

With the support of Gov. Chris Christie, Jamie Fox is on the fast track to get back to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The question is why?

Read More >

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 19th

NBC News: Federal charges ruled out for Christie in Bridgegate scandal NBC News tonight is reporting that federal investigators say after nine months of investigating Bridgegate there is 'no evidence" that Gov. Chris Christie had advance knowledge about any politically motivated scheme around the bridge lane closures at the...

Op-Ed

Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >

Contributors

(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“The fact is that they’ve been digging around for eight months now and have found absolutely nothing. Wrap up your work. Do your job." - Gov. Chris Christie

- PolitickerNJ

Poll

Should the Joint Legisaltive Committee investigating Bridgegate 'wrap it up?':

Blogroll

Visit the PolitickerNJ.com/resources page for links to the best collection of information on New Jersey state government.

 

  • Polls
  • The best blogs
  • Columnists
  • State election results
  • Assembly election results
  • Local party websites
  • And more.

PolitickerNJ.com/resources