Prieto’s Next Move: Hiring a Convincing Executive Director for DAAC
The Trenton talk turned to who would get the executive director’s seat at the Democratic Assembly Campaign Committee (DACC) to supplant the newly resigned Michael Muller.
As Prieto battles to retain his speakership, the votes he would need to stay the throne remain largely non-committal. That means whomever he selects to replace Muller might not have the job for very long. And yet, maybe the job itself would cement certain necessary people in his corner.
Here are some candidates:
If he’s looking to hook Essex, he might ply the job in the direction of David Caetano, who serves as chief of staff to Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin.
He might double back on Justin Shoham, formerly Assemblyman Raj Mukherji’s chief of staff.
These are stop the bleeding moves, of course, specifically aimed at shoring up those northern forces he’ll need if the war between he and Assemblyman Craig Coughlin for the speaker’s chair gets bloodier.
Then there’s Justin Braz, chief of staff to Assemblyman Gary Schaer. Proves a point. Shows Passaic isn’t going anywhere.
“Nah,” one source said dismissively. “Justin’s too smart for that.”
InsiderNJ suggested the name of Chris James, executive director at the Democratic State Committee and a former chief of staff to Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver, as a trained hand for the job. Again, the move would reflect North Jersey fire blanket intentions, and perhaps prove that Democratic State Chairman John Currie’s in Prieto’s camp.
But like Shoham, James just started a new consulting business and would arguably lack required job security – he’s a family man – with a jump into the middle of the fracas.
Prieto would show strength and alliance building with any of those aforementioned choices. Anyone of them would demonstrate confidence in a future on a job that Prieto’s promised security could fulfill.
But sources say it’s more likely – and the optics more bleak for the sitting speaker – if he goes to an inner circle person for the position: Cosmo Cirilio of West New York (again, unlikely, job just secured in Gutenberg) or Joey Muniz of North Bergen. Either one would show that the embattled Prieto’s world has shrunk to the point of having to make selections limited to what’s fallen off the Sacco tree.
Then there’s the matter of him having to fill the campaign account of DAAC.
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