There was uncertainty less than a week ago of who would clinch the Democratic Party’s nomination to succeed outgoing U.S. Rep. Rush Holt (D-12) in Congress.
Now, with Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-15) going up against Republican Dr. Alieta Eck in the general election for the left-leaning congressional seat, the uncertainty is over who will succeed Watson Coleman under the Golden Dome.
Mercer County Democratic insiders currently expect a placeholder to be named following Watson Coleman’s Washington D.C. swearing in ceremony in January 2015 (or anytime before then if the assemblywoman resigns).
Following a resignation or Washington swearing in, Democratic committee members in Hunterdon and Mercer counties will convene to nominate someone to replace Watson Coleman in the Statehouse.
“I suspect this is going to be the Mercer County phone book by the time we’re done with it,” said a county Democratic insider.
Here’s an updated running list:
The Mercer County freeholder is the CEO of the YMCA of Trenton. The state’s capital city is the district’s largest city, but is without a long-term Trenton-based representative. Frisby, who’s expressed interest in the Assembly seat, would likely be one of a handful to jump in the race to succeed Watson Coleman.
And don’t discount other freeholders expressing interest or jumping into the mix, including Pasquale “Pat” Colavita and Lucylle Walter.
The chairwoman of the Mercer County Democratic Committee has not been as vocal as some of the other district officials in seeking a legislative seat, but would likely be the favorite of some in the district to succeed Watson Coleman.
The AFL-CIO labor leader and vice chair of the Democratic State Committee just moved to Ewing and there’s already a Facebook campaign by labor to recruit her for the legislature.
The economic development guru served as executive director of the Capital City Redevelopment Corporation. She’s the president of Campus Gateway Development.
Lance Lopez Sr.
The Trenton native who represents thousands of state corrections officers, juvenile justice commissioners and parole officers as president of New Jersey State Policemen’s Benevolent Association Local 105 has been talking county leadership for some time.
Other possible Trenton contenders include Trenton City Council President Phyllis Holly Ward, Trenton Councilman Zachary Chester and Trenton Councilwoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson.
Mayor Cathleen Lewis
The popular Lawrenceville mayor is well-connected.
Mayor David DelVecchio
Lambertville’s mayor considered running for the state Assembly after his town was put in a Democratic-friendly district during the last redistricting. It’s likely he’ll mull a run in event there’s an opening.
As would other municipal leaders, including West Windsor Township Mayor Shing-Fu Hsueh, former Councilman Kammal Khamma, Hopewell Borough Mayor Paul Anzano, Hopewell Township Mayor Bruce Hankins and former Lawrenceville mayors Greg Puliti or Pam Mount.