Essex County Democratic Chairman Leroy Jones plans to roll out his county’s top Democrats in support of former Goldman Sachs executive Phil Murphy at a press conference on Friday, PolitickerNJ has confirmed.
Jones represented the last of the quad county alliance – Bergen, Passaic, Hudson, and Essex – forged last year as a way of muscling up northern county party organizations.
Powerful County Executive Joe DiVincenzo leaned in favor of Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester), the longtime ally of DiVincenzo pal George Norcross III of South Jersey, but Jones said all along that he believed the quad counties would stick together.
In the end, they did.
In advance of the announcement, senators Dick Codey, Ronald L. Rice and Nia Gill this morning all jointly announced their support for Murphy.
Newark Mayor Ras Baraka is also in with Murphy.
The combination of so much internal support for the former Goldman Sachs exec put Sweeney in Deepwater Horzions in the northern county where he required muscle to add to his South Jersey and Building Trades base and pockets of North Jersey senate caucus love.
The Essex fold in for murphy signifies a loss for DiVincenzo – who had welded himself to Norcross and South Jersey – and for the senate presidency prospects of his deputy, state Senator M. Teresa Ruiz of Newark.