In Plainfield and Hillside, sources say two African-American women will be running for reelection to the mayor’s race next year, one with the backing of the Democratic Party and the other in opposition to the machine.
First, in Hillside, sources say incumbent Mayor Karen McCoy Oliver and Union County Democratic Chair Charlotte DiFilippo will likely not make peace before next year’s election.
They’re both dug in on this one.
DiFilippo lives in Hillside and has served as municipal party chair for 36 years. If she runs – and to date she has not made a formal declaration – Oliver would be pursuing her third term in office.
A communication meltdown between the two women makes At Large Councilman Jerome Jewel the most likely contender for the party’s support in an organizational blitz of Oliver.
In the City of Plainfield, Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs, the city’s first woman to serve in that office, enjoys good rapport with the party and its leaders, including Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Plainfield).
In the June Democratic Party primary, she will very likely run on the line in pursuit of her second term.
While the mayor anticipates the presence of several opponents in the race, her strongest opposition will probably come from Councilman-elect Adrian Mapp, a CPA, chief financial officer for Roselle,and former freeholder who has built a base in the city as leader of the New Democrats.
Mapp and his running mate, businesswoman Annie McWilliams, earlier this year defeated Robinson-Briggs’ allies in the races for two council seats to gain a boost of energy going into the 2009 contest.
Adding a twist of poetic justice to their cause is the fact that McWilliams is the daughter of the late Al McWilliams, whom Robinson-Briggs defeated to become mayor in 2005.