A handful of months ago they reduced neighboring Middlesex County to ashes in a Democratic Primary and now they were already killing each other with the rest of New Jersey watching and somehow there had to be a solution that didn’t include former Trenton Mayor Doug Palmer launching a primary against 2015 incumbent County Executive Brian Hughes.
At issue is the LD15 seat being vacated by U.S. Rep.-elect Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12).
Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson wants Freeholder Sam Frisby in the seat.
Hughes wants Mercer County Democratic Chair Liz Muoio.
The players this weekend gingerly tried to finesse a deal that, stripped to its essential parts, could include Muoio going to the assembly to replace Watson Coleman in exchange for Frisby landing the freeholder board chairmanship left behind by Muoio.
In order to be chair, Frisby, of course, has to stand down and back Muoio.
On Monday, both sides continued to wrangle.
In the interim, Palmer won’t challenge Hughes, he told PolitickerNJ.
He left the best job in elected politics he ever had when he stopped serving as mayor, he insisted, although in the heat of this pre-primary contest several people went to Palmer and told him to shake up Hughes.
A source close to Jackson said the mayor is willing to deal provided he and his ally Frisby maintain political equilibrium.
Backing Muoio isn’t out of the question.
There remains, however, a strain of Frisby supporters so irritated by this collision between the county party organization and the City of Trenton that they would closely examine the candidacy of labor leader Lance Lopez as a means of expressing protest in a Democratic Primary, a source told PolitickerNJ.