Florio talks up Biden, weighs in on Andrews replacement

DENVER – Standing in the lobby of the Inverness Hotel this morning flanked by Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan and Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero, former Gov. Jim Florio said that he’s very excited to see his former commuting-mate tapped for the Democrats’ Vice-Presidential nomination.

“I’m very enthusiastic. He’s a personal friend,” said Florio, a superdelegate who originally supported Hilary Clinton.

During his years in Congress from 1975 to 1990, Florio, who commuted to Washington daily from the 1st District, would occasionally find himself on the same train as Biden, who commuted from Delaware. That led to a friendship and the occasional campaign function attended by Biden.

After Florio left the seat and became Governor, he was succeeded by U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights), who’s made the same commute over the last 18 years. Now Andrews is getting ready to leave the office – despite ever-present, but now lessened speculation that he’ll return to the seat.

Florio said Andrews consulted him about what to do after losing the primary against Sen. Frank Lautenberg, but wouldn’t divulge the conversation.

“It’s his decision. I had a talk with him and gave him some advice which is private. He said he was genuinely torn after he made the decision, but he wasn’t generally inclined to go back on his word.”

Florio wouldn’t pick favorites in who Andrews’s successor would be, saying he’d leave that to the county committee members. But he did put in a good word for Don Norcross, the Camden County Democratic Co-Chairman, South Jersey AFL-CIO president and, perhaps most importantly, brother of political power broker George Norcross III.

“Don is very much committed to social service in his job over the years,” he said.

One subject Florio didn’t want to broach was anything about U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, the prospective Republican gubernatorial candidate. FBI agents seized documents from Ferriero’s law office last week.

“I have no thoughts on him. I don’t actually pay a lot of attention to that,” he said.

Florio talks up Biden, weighs in on Andrews replacement