Dems to pick O’Leary successor today

Today is Election Day in Middlesex County. Democratic County Committee members from Woodbridge, Perth Amboy, Carteret, Sayreville and South Amboy will meet tonight to choose a new State Assembly candidate in the 19th district. Embattled South Amboy Mayor John O’Leary dropped out last month. Democrats will choose between former Superior Court Judge Mathias Rodriguez of Perth Amboy, former Edison Municipal Court Judge Craig Coughlin of Woodbridge, and Jean Pierce, a health care professional from Woodbridge.

The seat is currently held by Joseph Vas, who decided not to seek re-election after his indictments on federal and state corruption charges. Vas was defeated for re-election as Mayor of Perth Amboy in 2008, a post he had held for 18 years.

Rodriguez, who resigned from the bench in August to run, has the backing of the new Mayor of Perth Amboy, Wilda Diaz. Sources say that Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) is also backing Rodriguez, while O’Leary is quietly pushing Coughlin.

The race is betwen the two ex-Judges, and the winner must get 50% +1 to secure the nomination. That could mean a runoff.

Dems to pick O’Leary successor today