The Booker-Bollwage backroom chatter

An Elizabeth insider, speaking on condition of anonymity, laughed so hard at the suggestion of Mayor Christian Bollwage as a gubernatorial candidate that he almost fell out of his chair.

“Governor?” he asked “No, man, no, no. He’s not running for governor. The best the mayor could hope for is to take Lesniak’s seat when Lesniak retires. He’s a party guy.”

He stared back with grizzled certitude.

“How’s Bollwage as mayor?”

“Great,” grumbled the source, who’s not affiliated with either faction in the divide that is the party here locally.

“He’s a great mayor,” the source added for emphasis. “He’s done a very good job managing this difficult town.”

Following Bollwage’s email blast chew-out of Gov. Chris Christie, who toured Trinitas Hospital this morning, state Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) applauded the mayor and issued a statement: “Bollwage for governor!”

But to the source’s point about Bollwage’s statewide future, that formal endorsement by the powerful veteran senator may hinge on the future plans of Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

Sources say Lesniak continues to be a big fan of Booker’s – the same way South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross III is a Booker fan. Both bosses believe if Booker were to launch a gubernatorial race to bump Christie in 2013, he would automatically clear the field.

The barstool background source wouldn’t confirm that Bollwage is a human shield, but again insisted that there is no universe in which he would run for governor, which clashes with what sources around Bollwage have said for at least the last year. 

The Booker-Bollwage backroom chatter