If Corzine selects Weinberg, Bergen will unite behind her, says Sarlo

Asked to assess the merits of state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) and state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) as candidates for

Asked to assess the merits of state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) and state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) as candidates for lieutenant governor, state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) said both would make excellent candidates.

"Both will help the (Gov. Jon) Corzine ticket, but from a parochial standpoint, my job is to make sure Bergen is united," said the chair of the judiciary committee, who believes Weinberg wouldhelp solidify Corzine's base owing to her activist record on Democratic Party issues, and fulfill a critical regional function as senator from the big, swing county ofBergen.

As leader of a Democratic Party faction that warred with former Bergen County Democratic Organization (BCDO) Chairman Joe Ferriero, Weinberg carries the potential to enflameold intraparty wounds, but Sarlo says no way, party members will fall in line.

"I think at the end of the day we're talking about getting the governor re-elected, and Bergen County Democrats will be united behind Loretta if she's selected," Sarlo said.

Ferriero is scheduled to stand trialon federal corruption charges in September, anarrative GOP gubernatorial nominee Chris Christie will likely use to his advantage, but which could be diffused somewhat by the presence of Weinberg on Corzine's ticket.

Corzine and the 74-year old Weinberg have an alliance going back to her 2005 bid for the vacant 37th District senate seat, when Corzine backed her overthe BCDO's choice. If Corzine selects Weinberg, Bergen will unite behind her, says Sarlo