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Friday, September 18, 2015

Is Jerry Green biting the hand(s) that rescued him?

Is UCDC chair Jerry Green dissing Lesniak and Cryan?

Is Assemblyman and Union County Dem chair Jerry Green biting the hand(s) that rescued him?

Plainfield readers will recall that in the June election for Democratic City Committee, Green's slate was wiped out by Mayor Adrian Mapp's Plainfield Democratic Organizaition. One result was Green's loss of the chairmanship of the local committee and his fate as Union County chair was on the line, too.

Enter Union County power brokers Sen. Ray Lesniak, Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwege and newly-minted Union County Sheriff Joe Cryan. Word is the three cut a deal with Green to allow him to keep the county chairmanship providing he stayed out of Plainfield's political affairs.

Now, word comes that Green is sponsoring a speaking engagement by former ambassador Phil Murphy, who has declared himself a potential candidate for the 2017 NJ governor's race. (See the PolitickerNJ story on the event here.)

Last November, Green posted a rather gushy handwritten bread-and-butter note from Murphy on his blog (see here). Murphy says Green has become "a trusted friend" and he compliments Green on the "exceptional leadership" he displays as [County] chairman".

Trouble is, Lesniak has also declared himself, saying he intends to run for governor and not senator next time up. Cryan is favorable to Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop.

Is Green turning on his allies? Or is he maneuvering to make himself a power broker in the upcoming struggle over the goernor's nomination?

It wouldn't be the first time Green has played this game.

It was a standard gambit in Plainfield, where Green would encourage several individuals to think they had the inside track on a Council nomination -- only to pull a switcheroo at the last moment.

It is also the tactic he attempted last year in the contest over filling Rush Holt's Congressional seat.

Assemblywomen Bonnie Watson Coleman and Linda Greenstein both wanted the prize. Green played coy, though the word in the street was that he was backing Greenstein.

Back then, Green's hand was forced when Mapp made an end run and endorsed Watson Coleman on his own.

  -- Dan Damon [follow]

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