In the interest if balance, the collapsed dominos in favor of Craig Coughlin for speaker have helped the Democratic State Party Chair chances of Vice Chair Lizette Delgado Polanco, party sources told InsiderNJ.
Re-upped in June, sitting Chairman John Currie will serve through the end of the year, leaving a vacancy for the position and intrigue around the politics of his successor. The odd-looking Irish-American triumvirate of Coughlin-Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) and – presumably – Phil Murphy as Governor – all forged in part out of the blood, sweat and tears of minorities convinced of a party dedicated to diversity – continues to trouble party sources.
Now as the Democratic State Committee prepares to huddle up at the Borgata later this week, the Yeats-Joyce-Wilde-like troika continues to prey heavily on party minds, up-ticking the argument for Hudson County Prosecutor Esther Suarez as Murphy’s go-to stop-the-white-guy-in-key-power-position perception problem. She leads most short lists as the guv favorite’s attorney general choice. But Assemblyman John McKeon (D-27), who’s loyal to state Senator Dick Codey (D-27), an early and avid Murphy backer – is also said to love the idea of serving as the state’s AG.
He has had the perfect perch to campaign for the job as chair of the Assembly Law and Public Safety Committee, and showed all last season a willingness to command that bully pulpit.
If AG turns into Suarez v. McKeon and McKeon – with Codey aggressively buttonholing Murphy for him, and Sacco-Prieto World losing influential daily – beats Suarez, the party will have to find a Latino or a Latina for state party chair, a source told InsiderNJ. “Lizette’s already there and wants the job,” one party source said. “This is not rocket science. Let her stay there. You can entertain a lot of names for that job, but most of them probably don’t want it. I mean, who would?”
A second source said if Murphy and his minions pass up the chance to hold onto former SEIU 32BJ Political Director Delgado Polanco – who now works for the Carpenters – they could risk the public relations wrath of multiple Latinas wired into Delgado Polanco world who wouldn’t fancy their leader getting passed over. A third source speculated that the job would more likely be a booby prize for a jilted assembly member who wanted a leadership he or she craved.