Not so fast on the ascension of Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan (D-18) to take the place of the judgeship-bound state Senator Peter Barnes (D-18), a source told PolitickerNJ.
Despite his seniority and the support he will be able to muster, a few Democratic Party players are irritated with Diegnan owing to the fact that LD18 has proved a more thorny battleground than it should be during the Christie era, in part because Diegnan is a plump target for Republicans.
In 2011, for example, the heaviest artillery fire of the general election season – in fact, all of it – landed on Diegnan in the form of five mailers paid for by the Republican State Committee and launched after the ELEC’s 29-day pre-election day deadline.
There are conversations going on right now about whether Diegnan should step without opposition to replace Barnes given his history of not really raising much money. There’s also, arguably, a stale factor. He’s been in the Assembly since 2002.
“Edison will want something [in exchange for losing the Edison-based Barnes],” the source told PolitickerNJ.
Sources do say Diegan is likely to emerge as the next senator when Barnes assumes his judgeship, just that there could be some scratch marks by the time it’s all done.
As three Edison council people jockey for (presumably) a vacant assembly seat, local brands are positioning themselves to take the place of whichever council person goes to Trenton.