Sources close to Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34) gave various interpretations of the speaker’s game of footsy with the vacant U.S Senate seat.
The speaker is said to be in touch with at least one woman’s group at the national level about the prospect of running in the August Primary.
As a member of the Essex County Democratic Organization, Oliver operates within a large party machine, and so there is a school of thought within the operation that her political will is not her own but attached to the party. She ain’t running,” a source said. “Period.”
PolitickerNJ.com pointed out that people are out with signatures for the speaker and the source dismissed the effort as the work of gadflies.
Another source said Oliver is milking the moment for all it’s worth, trying to get Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is likely to run for U.S. Senate, to contribute to the Assembly Majority before she declares herself out of contention.
A third source, this one closer to Oliver than the others, said she is legitimately sizing up a run on a short runway, and is motivated in part by her belief that Booker hasn’t done right by the Democratic Party.