As Buono chatter increases, Corzine camp offers kind words about Pinkett

After lieutenant governor prospect Randal Pinkett held a news conference to say he remains interested in the post, Gov. Corzine’s campaign offered kind words about him.

“Throughout this process, we discovered what everyone already knew: Randal Pinkett is one of the state’s most accomplished, and most talented, young men,” said Corzine Communications Director Sean Darcy. “A Rhodes Scholar, successful businessman, and all-around class act, he has been one of the people under consideration for the Lieutenant Governor position from the very beginning. Randal Pinkett brings unique talent and qualifications to the conversation for Lieutenant Governor. We are fortunate to have such a depth of diversity and talent in the New Jersey Democratic Party.”

Pinkett, a technology consultant and former Rhodes Scholar whose multiple advanced degrees have been overshadowed by his status as the winner of Season 4 of “The Apprentice,” was briefly considered the frontrunner for the number two spot on the ballot. In the aftermath of negative newspaper editorials and discontent among Corzine’s supporters, however, Pinkett’s political stock has dropped precipitously.

Word among insiders today is that state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) is at the top of the Governor’s shortlist for lieutenant governor. But based on the previous couple weeks, it won’t be considered final until Corzine makes the official announcement on Saturday.

Democratic State Chairman/Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union) did not offer any clues.

“We have a diverse party with incredible people, and I’m sure the Governor’s going to pick an outstanding individual for the lieutenant governor post,” he said.

As Buono chatter increases, Corzine camp offers kind words about Pinkett