Bowser won’t challenge DiVincenzo – and won’t endorse him

East Orange Mayor Robert Bowser tonight said he would not challenge Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo in a Democratic Primary.

“I was just re-elected and if I were to run I would be going against what people want locally,” Bowser told “It would be an uphill fight, yes.”

It would be a fight not without some moral purpose, Bowser admitted.

An ally of former Senate President Richard Codey’s (D-Roseland), Boswer said he though DiVincenzo and company were crass when they plotted moves to overthrow Codey in a gubernatorial election year.

But he doesn’t have the will to run right now, and said the will among his backers in East Orange is for him to stay local.

“I’m not going to do it,” said the veteran mayor. “I don’t think I can, but I’m not going to endorse him. You don’t have to endorse him.”

The DiVincenzo-South Jersey political manuever that relieved Codey of his duties as senate president simultaneously elevated Sheila Oliver to the Assembly speakership, making an East Orange politician more powerful than any in recent memory, and – Bowser’s detractors argue – providing him with cause for celebration and hometown pride.

But the Bowser-Codey allies argue that anyone can be from anywhere and that doesn’t change politicial alliances.  

Running for a third term in the massively Democratic county, DiVincenzo has no primary opposition to date, according to County Clerk Chris Durkin.

The filing deadline is April 3rd. Bowser won’t challenge DiVincenzo – and won’t endorse him