Former state Senate President Dick Codey (D-Roseland) surfaced at an East Hanover Democratic Committee meeting last week, where he evidently brought down the house with typical light-hearted political bravura.
But the venture into state Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s (R-Montville) district last Wednesday night signified high alert on Codey’s part coming one year ahead of the 2011 elections.
Jettisoned from leadership by fellow Democrats, the ex-governor now expects his opposition to attempt the coup de grace with redistricting that folds him into a Republican district after March of next year.
Much of the speculation about where the Essex-proud Codey will end up once state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove) and Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo filet him out of his Democratic comfort zone have him surfacing in Pennacchio’s Morris County-strong 26th District – a district that includes East Hanover.
Codey started out as a son of Orange in the heart of Essex, then moved to West Orange and solidified his power base for the bulk of his political career. But his next move – to far west Essex’s leafier and tonier Roseland – presumably gives old foes O’Toole/DiVincenzo an excuse – come redistricting – to lump Codey into Morris County, where the gladitorial prospect of Codey v. Pennacchio favors the Republican, at least on paper.
Codey doesn’t think so, and maintains his belief in a statewide name attained when he was governor that will have cross-over power should O’Toole’s and DiVincenzo’s designs set him adrift in Morris.