Dem chairs recognize local strength of Buono, Weinberg, but stop short of an endorsement

There is much speculation that State Sens. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) and Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) could wind up as Gov. Jon

There is much speculation that State Sens. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) and Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) could wind up as Gov. Jon Corzine's running mate, but their home county Democratic chairmen are staying clear of making endorsements in the race for Lt. Governor.

Each recognizes the benefits of fielding the woman from his own territory in the number two spot behind Corzine.

"Any politician with a solid base in Bergen County should be considered," said Bergen County Democratic Organization Chairman Michael Kasparian, scanning his home turf of 497,444 registered voters, including 162,488 registered Democrats and 105,488 registered Republicans, where 10.65% of registered Democrats gave Corzine 87% of their vote last Tuesday.

"You lose Bergen, you lose Trenton," he added.

In Middlesex, where a total 410,185 registered voters includes 160,476 Democrats and 52,464 Republicans and where Corzine received 67% of the vote last Tuesday with 18.04% of registered Democrats voting, Middlesex County Democratic Organization Chairman Joseph Spicuzzo likes the idea of Buono to bolster a ticket with Corzine.

"I know she's on the short list," Spicuzzo said. "I don't know whether the governor has committed to her, but it would be a feather in the county's cap to have a lieutenant governor. Of course, it's the governor's choice, but Barbara is a very committed woman who brings a lot of savvy to state government."

Spicuzzo attributed last Tuesday's relatively low vote tally for Corzine to the fact that he had no opposition.

"People didn't even know there was a contest," said the chairman.

Dem chairs recognize local strength of Buono, Weinberg, but stop short of an endorsement