Three women widely viewed as rising stars in the Democratic Party are likely to receive consideration for Lt. Governor next year when Jon Corzine picks a running mate: State Sens. Dana Redd (D-Camden) and Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), and Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz.
Redd, 40, and Ruiz, 34, were both elected to the Senate last year and have ties to powerful political organizations — Redd, a Camden City Councilwoman and Vice Chairwoman of the Democratic State Committee, is an ally of South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross (with whom Corzine has had a long-standing fascination), and Ruiz is the Deputy Chief of Staff to Essex County Executive Joseph DiVicenzo and a protege of Newark Democratic leader Stephen Adubato.
The 44-year-old Diaz, a reformer who ousted eighteen-year incumbent Joseph Vas by a wide margin last May, could generate some interst as a statewide candidate. After a little more the 100 days in office, Diaz seems to have impressed Middlesex Democrats with her management skills, and her decision to cut her own salary by more than $30,000.