Matzen Resigned from Zwicker Campaign When He Went to DAAC

It stood out in stark fashion: battleground Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker’s (D-16) John Hancock on that letter of endorsement of Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-19) for speaker.

What also stood out was the fact that Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) tapped Mark Matzen as the new executive director of the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (DACC).

Matzen was Zwicker’s guy, his campaign consultant who helped engineer the physicist’s improbable 2015 legislative victory by fewer than 100 votes.

How can Zwicker back the bumping off of Prieto, while simultaneously allowing his operative to become empowered by Prieto?

The short answer, according to one source, is that Matzen is done with Zwicker.

When he picked Prieto, he decided to resign as campaign consultant for the battleground assemblyman. That news might have smarted in Zwicker-world, but there are others who are said to be in stepping up mode right now on that front, among them Scott Snyder, executive director for the Middlesex Dems. Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer also hired Nathan Rudy as her organization’s new ED.

But there’s a deeper answer, one that speaks to the strong play Prieto made when he tapped Matzen; for there is the strong likelihood that Matzen at DAAC will help Zwicker and help the prioritization of his campaign. The fact that the ED of the outfit that distributes funding for campaigns knows where the LD16 bodies are buried can’t hurt the assemblyman, who is right now in the general election contest of his young political career.


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