Two men walked into a fine dining establishment last night in Central Jersey in what was actually a thinly disguised exercise in realpolitik.
One was Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Kevin McCabe and the other was Union County Democratic Chairman Jerry Green.
The outcome of the meeting, according to a source with knowledge of the occasion?
Green is open to McCabe’s candidate for Congress in the 12th District – state Sen. Linda Greenstein (D-14).
He just wants to see organizational dominance by McCabe. If he sees that and is convinced of Democratic Party establishment power around McCabe’s candidate – he could fold in with Greenstein, the source said.
Short of seeing that Green could muster his own run for Congress or consider backing Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson (D-15).
But the notion that he would be with Watson Coleman in the name of a Trenton-Plainfield alliance would not withstand a very strong and convincing play by McCabe for a Greenstein candidacy, the source insisted.
Green is a party player, and would not jeopardize his own standing if Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), for example, pushes Greenstein.
Chair of Barbara Buono’s ill-starred gubernatorial candidacy last year, Watson Coleman does not have strong street cred with the power pooh-bahs in the party right now, those well heeled under bosses who report to South Jersey central command.
If Green were to back her, he could run the risk of going rogue – and he doesn’t want to do that, the source said.
Green is also unconvinced that Watson Coleman can draw from Middlesex the way Greenstein – who serves Hamilton – can pull from Mercer. (A Mercer person pointed out that Hamilton abides in CD4 not CD12, but the point is that Greenstein has served a portion of Mercer and has relationships there, staring with her running mate, well-connected labor leader Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-14) of the IBEW.
The Union County Chairman could find a way to Watson Coleman, however, if labor wields a strong hand on her behalf, but McCabe continues to work the phones today to try to make sure that does not happen.