Days after Mayor Ras Baraka began laying the tiles for a local game plan to catapult Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop into Drumthwacket, retail politics competitor Phil Murphy generated a crowd at the Priory in Newark last night at an event attended by three busloads of seniors and former Governor Dick Codey..
The event made a Brick City statement at precisely the moment when Baraka looks to coalesce support for Murphhy’s arch rival, Fulop.
Anticipating a civil war in Essex, or the possibility of being able to coax power players into backing a campaign that has pockets of key support in the sprawling North Jersey county, the Murphy Campaign is trying to highlight alliances it has on the ground in Newark, which include Assemblywoman Blonnie Watson (D-29), Councilwoman Gayle Chaneyfield Jenkins, former Mayor Sharpe James, and others.
State Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) of Newark’s West Ward hasn’t yet issued an endorsement in the 2017 gubernatorial contest but has a longtime record of keeping close to Codey, who keeps close to Rice.
Codey’s a Murphy backer.
Former Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34) of East Orange (a Newark native) also appears to be inclined to back Murphy, a source told PolitickerNJ.
Emphatically not a Murphy supporter, Baraka Chief of Staff Amiri “Middy” Baraka attended the event, too, apparently to get a bead on Murphy movements in his home town as the 2017 gubernatorial continues to develop at a rapid rate.