If Menendez gets passed over, Hispanics could bolt on Corzine

The deal cut last week to make Bonnie Watson Coleman the Assembly Majority Leader over Wilfredo Caraballo increases the likelihood that Governor-elect Jon Corzine will have problems with Hispanic leaders if he does not appoint Robert Menendez to the United States Senate. There is a perception among Hispanic activists that Corzine has promised the seat to Menendez, and Corzine — who has political ambitions beyond Drumthwacket, is being lobbied by Latinos with national clout to appoint the seven-term Congressman. Menendez publicly split with then-Governor James E. McGreevey over the appointment of Zulima Farber to the New Jersey Supreme Court, and one Democratic insider says Hispanic voters could be in play in the ’06 general election if they feel Menendez was treated poorly.

If Menendez gets passed over, Hispanics could bolt on Corzine