Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo officially scratched himself off a shortening – and then lengthening – and now indeterminate lieutenant governor gossip sheet tonight, saying he wouldn't take the job if Gov. Jon Corzine offered.
"I'm going tobe running for Essex CountyExecutive next year," said DiVincenzo, who is seeking his third term."The more successful I am as county executive, people are interested in me wanting to run for lieutenant governor. But I'm not interested.
"I'm running for re-election," he added. "Jon knows I'm going to work very hard to get him re-elected."
DiVincenzo said he heard the LG rumors kick in about him on Friday, and he dismissed them. Today, the Inside Edge wrote a piece acknowledging the backchatter.
"I never talked to the governor, he never called me about this, I just want to put the rumor to rest," DiVincenzo told PolitickerNJ.com.
As recently as early summer, a white male was not in play as a running mate for Corzine.
Repeated campaign polling showed a black on the ticket assisting the beleaguered white male chief executive's re-election chances, but the nonstarter consequences of Secretary of State Nina Mitchell Wells' floated candidacy, followed by the apparent media meltdown last week of businessman Randal Pinkett as a prospect,little buzz generated beyond Passaic County for Freeholder Tahesha Way, and some gravitas alert then subsequent hush-hush mode surrounding Superior Court Judge (and former state Sen.) Joe Charles of Hudson County, made it look as though two white females- state Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) and, to a lesser extent, state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) – were the last LG candidates standing.
For all his educational and business credentials, Pinkett – laughed off the public stage by the Star-Ledger as a reality TV star – set uplate-in-the-week, post Obamapotential for two trial ballons floated presumably by allies of both men: DiVincenzo: Italian-American, born in Newark, resident of Nutley, with a proven power projection platform in of the state's biggest Democratic county; and Mark Alexander, an African-American Seton Hall University professor and former state director of the Obama campaign.
A few Democrats talked with AlexanderFriday in Pal's Cabin in West Orange,aspart of thesame lunch hourcrowd that includedGOP gubernatorial Chris Christie and his long time confidante Bill Palatucci.
Dems readthe former U.S. Attorney's presence thereas an audacious move by Christie: descending on a lunchtime hot spot commonly understood as a Democratic Party stronghold, and at least a couple of them cringed reflexively as Christie walked close to their table.
He sat down with them.
"How do you like being a candidate?" asked Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-Montclair).
Christie, according to sources, told the tableful of Democrats, some still wary, that people expect him to be a steelier, more intolerant presence.
"But I'm just a regular guy," Christie said, or words to that effect.
Notwithstanding his meeting with some establishment Democratsthe day afterhis wow-the-crowd performance at a Councilman Ken Lucianin house party for Obama supporters back in Passaic following bus trips to hear the President at the PNC Bank Center last Thursday, Alexander over the weekend was DOA as an LG prospect among harder linestate committee types and at least one Corzine earshot operative.
Alexanderbucked the establishment a little too hardduring that Obama-Clinton cool-off period last year,at least according to sources.
So the buzz started around DiVincenzo, arguably the un-Pinkett, because of his administrative and political experience (the heir apparent to North Ward Democratic leader Steve Adubato) but today, with no confirmation from sources close to Corzine that DiVincenzo was ever more than Essex County buzz outside the inner sanctum, DiVincenzo personally killed the rumor with a phone call.