NEWARK – There is considerable speculation tonight regarding North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato’s efforts to build support within the Essex County Democratic Committee for Adrianne Davis to succeed Phil Thigpen as party chair.
Sources say Adubato, former party chair Ray Durkin, Thigpen, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-10), former Assemblyman Bill Payne, County Executive Chief of Staff Phil Alagia, and party senior advisor Joe Parlavecchio discussed the move, which if it happens would take place after the primary.
By statute, the county committee of 1,100 members meets on the Tuesday after Election Day, which is June 10.
Davis, who serves as clerk of the Board of Chosen Freeholders, is a longtime friend of Adubato’s and worked as an administrator at Adubato’s North Ward Center for over 16 years. She currently serves on the Center’s Board of Trustees and as Vice President of the Robert Treat Academy Charter School Board of Trustees.
If Adubato and his allies press for Davis, she wouldn’t be a walkover. Late Wednesday there was word from other factions within the party that a Davis party chairmanship would be unacceptable as she is perceived as being too close to Adubato.
Thigpen, a former Essex County freeholder and East Orange Councilman,hasserved as party chairsince 2001.