The needler in the haystack.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Mapp's Watson Coleman endorsement complicates CD12 race

Mayor Adrian Mapp has endorsed Asw Bonnie Watson Coleman
in the 12 Congressional District primary race.

Plainfield mayor Adrian Mapp's endorsement of Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman has added a new layer of complication to an already convoluted situation in the race for Rush Holt's Congressional seat.

Mapp endorsed Watson Coleman in a statement released Tuesday which made headlines statewide (PolitickerNJ here; Courier here; Ledger here).

In a long, thoughtful article on this morning's PolitickerNJ (see here), editor Max Pizarro links both Mapp and Plainfield Assemblyman Jerry Green to the Byzantine politics of Trenton and Mercer County.

The link is provided by Plainfield's Director of Public Works and Urban Development, Eric Jackson, who is a favored candidate in a field that is vying to replace recently-convicted and now jail-bound Trenton mayor Tony Mack.

The question of who Jackson will support occupies much of Pizarro's piece, but a careful read shows that Assemblyman Jerry Green also has a key role.

Green, who has yet to weigh in on whether he will throw his support to Watson Coleman or Middlesex County State Senator Linda Greenstein has been upstaged by Mapp's move.

Observers have been watching Green carefully as he has many aspects to juggle.

In the first place, he is chair of both the Plainfield and Union County Democratic committees. The other Union County towns in CD12 (Fanwood and Scotch Plains) will get a chance to weigh in when Green holds a meeting -- said to be slated for March 5 -- to make a decision.

As Mayor Mapp noted in his endorsement, Watson Coleman has some history and existing relationships with Plainfield. That, plus her strong stands on issues familiar to urban communities like Plainfield (guns and gun violence, jobs and fair wages, and education) make Watson Coleman an obvious choice.

It also did not escape Mapp's attention that, like himself, Watson Coleman was a strong supporter of Barbara Buono in last year's gubernatorial race.

While these two strengths should also appeal to Assemblyman Green, his situation includes yet another wrinkle: his Assembly District (LD22) also includes two Middlesex County communities (Dunellen and Middlesex boroughs) and he must maintain good relations with the powers-that-be in our neighboring county.

If Green was hoping to escape a knuckle-biter, Mapp's move has banished that pleasant thought.

Green may yet be the 'Queenmaker' (as I suggested Monday), but not without some pushing and shoving.

I hope you'll read the Pizarro article (here), it's well worth the time.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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