State Sen. and former Gov. Dick Codey today threw his political weight behind Ronald C. Rice in the race to fill the Congressional seat vacated by the death of Donald Payne.
“Ron possesses all the attributes that are integral to the job: a tireless work ethic, independence, energy, integrity and a deep understanding of the issues that face us today. It’s rare to see all these qualities in a young man in public service rolled up into one –that is Ron Rice,” Codey said. “His record of progressive ideas, and his willingness and ability to take on the tough issues and be steadfast and resilient in the face of staunch opposition is precisely what we need right now in Washington.”
In an interview about the endorsement, Codey (D-27) said he had spoken with Rice, son of state Sen. Ronald L. Rice (D-28), years ago about a potential Congressional bid and promised his endorsement at that time.
“There has been nothing that’s happened in the interim that would make me feel otherwise,” Codey said.
Codey said his years-long fight with Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, who is backing Payne’s son Donald Payne Jr., for the spot, had nothing to do with his endorsement.
“I told Don, this has nothing to do with my strong dislike for Mr. DiVincenzo,” he said.
Rice has been backed by Codey’s 27th District Assembly colleague, John McKeon, as well as Newark Councilmen Ras Baraka and Darin Sharif.
Also in the mix alongside Payne and Rice is state Sen. Nia Gill.