Chief of staff to Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo, Phil Alagia has been through numerous political wars.
There was DiVincenzo’s first election, in 2002, when he out-dueled Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-34) for the county executive seat.
There was 2006, when he helped Anibal Ramos defeat North Ward incumbent Councilman Hector Corchado.
There was that 2007 Democratic Primary when he helped propel state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz (D-29) to power.
There was 2013, when he helped the Democratic nominee for governor Barbara Buono as she took on… Er, never mind. Scratch that last one, actually. (You’ll of course recall that DiVincenzo controversially got behind incumbent Republican Governor Chris Christie in 2013.)
Anyway, we asked Alagia to list the most influential book he’s read on the subject of politics.
He reflexively offered a title that everyone in North Newark associates with Democratic Party leader Steve Adubato, Sr., the mentor of both Alagia and DiVincenzo.
“The Prince, by Machiavelli,” said Alagia.
Adubato once relayed the following Prince quote to PolitickerNJ: “The lion cannot protect himself from traps, and the fox cannot defend himself from wolves. One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.”
After giving his answer, Algaia thought about it, a moment later acknowledging that the slender classic is actually, in fact, indisputably Adubato’s personal political Bible.
“My book was growing up in the North Ward of Newark,” the veteran operative added.