WALL – The Welle Camp looked very confident here this morning in the lead up to their candidate’s showdown with Jim Keady.
“We’re going to win,” said a source close to the campaign.
Although Keady had hordes outside, some of them on the shoulder of the highway to greet blinkering arrivals; beaming, confident-looking insiders plastered with Welle stickers roamed the checkerboard floor of the IBEW Hall in force.
A former Asbury Park Councilman who once challenged Gov. Chris Christie in the boardwalk and in return received the now infamous entreaty to “Sit down and shut up,” Keady had his entourage with him, campaign manager Ryan Hughes and a tightknit band of progressives. Veterans Pat Politano and Mike Beson patrolled the vicinity of their candidate, Welle, who’s run a center-left campaign, nudged a little leftward (but not much) on occasion by the stentorian Keady.
It was the contest that defined the morning.
“I’ve got three minutes,” said a woman putting U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone’s name in nomination.
“Take two,” a delegate cracked, to roars from the crowd.
They wanted to get to the 4th, but Welle champions insisted that those anticipating a nail-biter would likely meet disappointment.
Pallone was speaking.
“I have never seen a President purposely try to divide the country,” said the congressman. “It presents such a bad situation when the rest of the world sees us divided.”
Another Democrat, uncommitted in the CD4 contest, shook his head when InsiderNJ prodded on Welle v. Keady.
“I don’t know,” the source said. “It’s tight.”