The forces of Phil Murphy are moving swiftly to corner the endorsements of the New Jersey Education Association (NJEA), the statewide police unions, and other public sector unions, hoping to take advantage of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s shaky relations with those groups.
For their part, Team Sweeney is moving on its alliances up north to ensure fractured party organizations in areas where Murphy wants Democrats to swallow him whole.
Sweeney allies like their chances at scarfing up state Senator Brian P. Stack and Senator Nick Sacco to secure North Hudson; and see the support of Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg in Bergen and state Senator Paul Sarlo in South Bergen as critical strike pieces.
The moves are occurring in the aftermath of news broken here on PolitickerNJ that Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulup will not run for governor next year.
He is expected to back Murphy, not Sweeney, in a contest that now pits the former Goldman Sachs executive against the ironworker from South Jersey.
A county chair, speaking on condition of anonymity, groaned at the prospect of Murphy v. Sweeney, noting a contest between a Wall Street multi-millionaire with no experience in elected office and a senate president perceived to be close to a deflated Republican Gov. Chris Christie.