“Jones!”

Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones.

Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones. Max Pizarro for Observer

The eyes of the state drifted to multiple faces in expectation of their real-time reactions to the news that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop will announce today his decision to forego a 2017 guv run.

Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones occupies a significant position on the landscape.

The biggest Democratic county in the state, Essex could end the governor’s race this afternoon with an endorsement of Phil Murphy, a party source pointed out.

For his part, Jones was cool in a morning conversation with PolitickerNJ.

“This is politics at its best,” he said, referring to Fulop dropping and backing former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy. “I’ve been saying along that it’s too early to jump out. We will watch ands see what occurs today and my county at the appropriate time will convey and talk about what that means in the window of tomorrow.”

Jones reached out to local mayors in his county today to make sure they “stay on the same page,” in his words.

To this point, Essex has appeared fractured, with Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo favoring Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) based on years of good relations; former Governor Dick Codey saddled up with Murphy, and Newark Mayor Ras Baraka supporting Fulop.

 

“Jones!”