If Jon Corzine picks Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo to run for Lt. Governor and they win, Essex County Democrats would hold a special election convention early next year to elect a new County Executive. There is speculation that a deal to include DiVincenzo on the statewide ticket would include a commitment to replace him with an African American Democrat.
The problem for Corzine and DiVincenzo is that they don’t have the votes to guarantee the election of the first African American to serve as a County Executive in New Jersey. There are plenty of factions within the Essex Democratic organization and it is hard to imagine a harmonious convention that would feature Tom Giblin, Steve Adubato, Dick Codey, Cory Booker and Donald Payne holding hands and belting out a couple of verses of “Cumbaya”.
But the identity of the next County Executive is not as important to Democrats as the current gubernatorial campaign. DiVincenzo has a strong relationship with South Jersey Democratic leaders. And Corzine is counting on a huge plurality out of Essex – something DiVincenzo can help him with.