The Zwicker Man: Prieto’s Battleground Push-back Considered

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Two battleground district names surfaced this afternoon on Assemblyman Craig Coughlin’s (D-19) list of supporters: Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-2) and Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16).

Countering with the case for why his rival’s efforts are premature, Speaker Vincent Prieto’s (D-32) allies point out that those two incumbents could lose their elections, reducing Coughlin’s number to 26 solid backers.

But Coughlin’s supporters note that such a scenario still keeps his chin above the bar.

The caucus would fall from 52 to 50 members and thereby make 26 the magic number he needs to dump Prieto.

But it’s a very thin membrane.

Now with the list of backers in hand, Coughlin’s backers are frantically working the phones to nudge others into the Woodbridge assemblyman’s column.

These agonized put-upon souls include:

Assemblyman John McKeon

Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor Marin

Assemblyman Jamel Holley

Coughlin seeks inevitability, and wants the list he has now to make that connect-the-dots case; but those assembly people whose names are not on that list don’t want to be the togaed replicant who delivers the fatal wound to the sitting speaker.

There are two more battleground incumbents whose names are on the list:

Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling

and

Assemblywoman Joann Downey

The pair reside in the 11th District.

It’s possible that Mazzeo, Zwicker, Downer and Houghtaling could all lose, reducing Coughlin to 24 and an insufficient number of votes to lick Prieto for the throne.

It’s volatile – more volatile than Coughlin wants, but it’s also hard to envision losses in all those districts in a year where Democrats appear to have the upper hand and where the anti-South forces have what amounts to a kiss-of-death-in-the-rest-of-the-caucus play: partnering with Republicans to ensure Coughlin loses allies on the other side of the general election.

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