The hot rumor in Trenton today is that Susan Bass Levin will become the new Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Senate Majority Leader Bernard Kenny will succeed her as Commissioner of Community Affairs. Sources say they expect Governor Jon Corzine to move forward on these appointments, but caution that nothing is final until the Governor makes his announcement.
Levin, the former Mayor of Cherry Hill, would take the job being vacated by Jamie Fox, who is opening a new lobbying firm. Kenny, who is also the Hudson County Democratic Chairman, has announced that he would not seek re-election.
Kenny's early depature from the Senate would create four new contests: a Special Election Convention for his 33rd district seat — where Assemblymen Brian Stack, the Mayor of Union City, and Sal Vega, the Mayor of West New York, are already battling for the Senate seat; a race for a new Senate Majority Leader; a special election for Hudson County Democratic Chairman; and an appointment (by Senate President Richard Codey) as the new Senate Appropriatons Committee Chairman.
Kenny could time his resignation for July, when the Democratic Senate primary and the state budget process is over, and after Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy is installed as the new County Chairman.