Contractor Joe Sanzari has scheduled a September fundraiser for 5th Congressional District candidate Josh Gottheimer, who’s running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett of Wantage.
The event features Senate President Steve Sweeney of Gloucester County, state Senator Paul Sarlo of Wood-Ridge (who works for Sanzari) and Bergen County Democratic Committee Chairman Lou Stellato.
Sweeney and Sarlo are hardcore political allies. Once out-dueled by Sweeney for the position of senate majority leader, Sarlo now stands poised to succeed Sweeney as senate president if he can persuade Stellato to give Sweeney the gubernatorial line.
It wouldn’t be a done deal, of course, even if Stellato bit.
Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo wants state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz of Newark to sit on the senate throne, and appears better positioned than Sarlo to gnaw on the ear of his county chairman, Leroy Jones.
Stellato absolutely doesn’t look inclined to back Sweeney. If he supports Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, part of the political payoff is likely to include a speakership for Sarlo’s slate mate, Assemblyman Gary Schaer of Passaic.
But Sweeney and Sarlo continue to make the push for Stellato’s affection.