Bill Matsikoudis, the Jersey City Corporation Counsel, is the leading candidate to become the Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, according to sources familiar with the appointment process. The nomination of Lisa Jackson to head the EPA led some Democrats to believe that the veteran regulator, who became Chief of Staff to Gov. Jon Corzine in December 1, might have her own candidate in mind to replace Alan Steinberg, a Republican who was appointed by George W. Bush. Jackson spent many years at the EPA before joining the Corzine administration as Commissioner of Environmental Protection in 2006.
Matsikoudis, who served as an Assistant Counsel to Gov. James E. McGreevey, reportedly has the support of Jersey City Mayor/Hudson County Democratic Chairman Jerramiah Healy, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. In actuality, the only votes he really needs are those of Menendez and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg, although Jackson surely has the ability to influence this particular appointment if she wants to.