Essex — including Codey running mates — back Oliver for Speaker

All nine Essex County Democrats in the State Assembly have endorsed Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) for Speaker. Oliver now has endorsements from 35 Democratic legislators and likely winners of open seats, giving her a seemingly overwhelming lead in the race to succeed retiring Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden).

Oliver's rival, Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) has just two votes, her own and Reed Gusciora (D-Princeton), her running mate.

Among Oliver's supporters are John McKeon (D-West Orange) and Mila Jasey (D-South Orange), who are running mates and political allies of Senate President Richard Codey (D-Roseland).

Also backing Oliver are Ralph Caputo (D-Belleville), Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), Thomas Giblin (D-Montclair), Frederick Scalera (D-Nutley), and Grace Spencer (D-Newark).

"I am honored that our entire delegation is supporting Sheila Oliver for Speaker," said Essex County Democratic Chairman Phil Thigpen, "she will be a fighter for the taxpayers in New Jersey; her dedication to human services will insure that the individuals so often overlooked in government will now have a strong voice in Trenton. I am so proud that Essex County is part of this historic election."

Earlier tonight, Oliver picked up seven votes in Middlesex and Somerset counties. Essex — including Codey running mates — back Oliver for Speaker