Lacking party line support, Van Blake doesn’t rule out challenging Green in 2011

Union County Freeholder Rayland Van Blake wouldn’t outright say he plans to challenge Assemblyman Jerry Green (D-Plainfield) next year, but he did make clear he’s not ruling out a challenge to the veteran Democrat. 

“This is a time when the Democratic party needs to stand together, especially under these tough economic times,” Van Blake said in a statement. “I’m considered very young in this business, and there is still much that I can contribute on a local, county, or state level.

“My colleagues on the Freeholder Board as well as the Administration have commended me as a Freeholder. I bring a strong fiscal background, and fresh ideas for innovative programming to the board. If I am unsuccessful in my attempt to receive the party line, I will explore other options. I plan to serve out my term and will remain very active in Plainfield and County politics.” 

Green and Union County Democratic Chair Charlotte DeFilippo both said Van Blake’s attendance record and enthusiasm for countywide events during his freshman year were lacking.

“I’m very fond of Charlotte, and I applaud her leadership in the role of Democratic Chairman of Union County,” in response to the chair’s comments. “I’m thoroughly disappointed because I feel we have several agendas both inside and outside of Plainfield.  I’m very proud of my record serving as Councilman and Council President in the City of Plainfield.”

Green said everyone says they want to run against him when they don’t get what they want.

Moreover, the chairman helped select a political ally of Van Blake’s – Councilwoman Lynda Carter – to replace him as the party’s freeholder candidate from Plainfield – and in the process said he didn’t hear any cries for Van Blake. As such, the assemblyman doubts Van Blake’s ability to gain traction with those political forces – the New Democrats – who should be the core of his base. Lacking party line support, Van Blake doesn’t rule out challenging Green in 2011