If Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop does indeed drop out of the race today and back Phil Murphy for Governor, as sources say, a fascinating choice confronts Hudson County’s two northern power houses.
State Senators Brian P. Stack and Nick Sacco would have to decide if they will go with Fulop, or give Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) a critical northern lifeline.
Right now at this moment, Murphy appears well positioned to secure Middlesex and Passaic if Fulop quits the contest. He’s also well positioned to land Bergen, and has a chunk of support in west Essex.
Sweeney has South Jersey and the best crack at the coveted county line in Essex through his sturdy relationship to Essex County Executive Joe DiVincenzo.
Can Sweeney snag Stack and Sacco and the Hudson County line to stem Murphy in a second northern county? Certainly, the presence of Hudson County democratic Chairman Vincent Prieto would be a problem. Based on his clashes with Sweeney, Prieto appears more inclined to be a Murphy backer, at least on paper. But he’s also wired in to Sacco.
Stack had a sit-down with powerful South Jersey Democratic Party boss George Norcross in recent days, stirring insider speculation about a backroom offensive on North Hudson by Sweeney world.
Now there may be added motivation…