Weinberg praises Sweeney, Buono and Watson Coleman as possible Corzine running mates

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) thinks that Gov. Jon Corzine should consider gender in picking a Lieutenant Governor, but not as a top priority.

"I would hope that it is a woman. I think that since it is a new job it would be another breakthrough for women in the state. But I don't think that's a basic requirement," she said.

Weinberg said that the three potential candidates that she's heard the most speculation about – state Sens. Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford), Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) and Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Trenton) would all bring valuable traits to the job.

"Sweeney, because of his base in South Jersey, which I think is a consideration for the Governor. Certainly Barbara Buono, because of her experience in both houses of the legislature -both the assembly and senate — as well as her most recent experience as chair of the budget committee, and being a woman," she said. "Bonnie Watson Coleman is the first woman majority leader, a minority and someone who is particularly articulate on issues of concern to many in urban areas."

The Bergen County Democrat says that she is not being vetted as a potential running mate for Corzine.

"I'm not running for Lieutenant Governor. Nobody's asked me and nobody's asked my name. Anything in the world is a possibility," Weinberg told PolitickerNJ.com, noting that if asked, she would have to consider it.

Weinberg said that she didn't want to give Republican gubernatorial candidate Christopher Christie any advice, but that she does consider Kathleen Donovan, the Bergen County Clerk who insiders consider a top potential pick, a friend.

"You don't need to have a master's degree in political science to know that she's a pretty good vote getter in Bergen County," she said.

At the Bergen County Republicans' convention last night, another State Senator from Bergen County, Gerald Cardinale (R-Demarest), did not want to single out any favorites for lieutenant governor.

Cardinale kept his advice vague on the selection, saying it should be someone who can bring along a new group of voters and inspire confidence, although he said Christie "is an extraordinary candidate."

"I don't think he has any voids that need to be filled," he said.

But Cardinale did say that gender ought not to factor much in the selection.

"A lot of people try to make gender a big issue. I think t here are plenty of females who make good candidates and plenty of males who make good candidates," he said. "But I wouldn't make gender criteria." Weinberg praises Sweeney, Buono and Watson Coleman as possible Corzine running mates