A primary for Caraballo

There are reports from Essex County that Democrats will withdraw party support for Assemblyman Wilfredo Caraballo’s 2007 re-election campaign because the veteran Newark legislator is siding with Speaker Joseph Roberts. The rest of the Essex delegation has chosen to ally themselves with Governor Jon Corzine, as have Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and Newark political powerhouse Stephen Adubato, Sr. Sources say that Caraballo, a close Adubato ally, has been told he might be dropped from the Essex Democratic line if he continues his alliance with Roberts. The source also said that Caraballo’s political relationship with Adubato has become deeply strained over the last week. Caraballo represents the 29th district, where a contested Democratic primary for State Senator is likely if the incumbent, Sharpe James, seeks re-election next year. James, whose twenty-year tenure as Mayor of Newark ended on July 1, has not yet declared his intentions. There is considerable speculation that City Councilman Luis Quintana, an ally of Mayor Cory Booker who challenged James in the 2003 primary, wants the Senate seat. Last week, Mildred Crump was elected Council President — a spot Quintana had been seeking — increasing talk that Quintana was headed for the Senate instead. The other Assemblyman from that district is William Payne, the brother of Congressman Donald Payne. Payne and Caraballo have had a distant relationship since late last year, when Payne announced that he would back Bonnie Watson Coleman against Caraballo in the race for Assembly Majority Leader.

A primary for Caraballo