If you believe it is possible that Gov. Jon Corzine might not finish his second term, than you may be among those who understand that the selection of a Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor might actually mean the identification of the next Governor of New Jersey. There are some insiders who believe that if he wins re-election, Corzine will get to a point where lame duck status bores him. He could wind up in a cabinet post in Barack Obama's second administration, if the President wins re-election in 2012. Corzine could be gone in January 2013.
Gubernatorial vacancies are nothing new to New Jersey. It has been twenty years since a Governor finished a second term. Christine Todd Whitman resigned after seven years to join George W. Bush's cabinet; she was succeeded by Donald DiFrancesco. Richard Codey spent fourteen months as Governor after James E. McGreevey resigned. In recent years, New York, Pennsylvania and Connecticut have seen Lt. Governors become Governors.
Corzine's selection looms large in the world of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is widely viewed as a potential candidate for the 2013 Democratic gubernatorial nomination. Booker is backing 74-year-old State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) for Lt. Governor, with the hope that the Bergen County Democrat would not run for a full term in four years. Some insiders say that State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) would be a candidate.