[Update: The Home News is now reporting that there are 6 potential candidates to replace O’Leary, and Spicuzzo is ‘not sure of all their names.’
[Update 2: There is a woman, Jean Pierce from HPAE, in the mix of candidates vying to replace O’Leary as the Dem candidate in LD 19, according to the Home News. It would be nice to see her replace Vas, after he took the seat from Arlene Friscia. Home News article
Pierce, 51, who has served on several community boards, including the Woodbridge Housing Authority, said Tuesday she informed Spicuzzo she will file her letter of intent this week.
Pierce is a member of the public policy staff of the Health Professional Allied Employees, the state’s largest union of nurses. Among the public issues she campaigned for was the paid family leave.
“I have a well-rounded background in community organizations and would like to take that to another level,” said Pierce, who has never held elected office.]
It looks like we might get some diversity on the LD 19 ticket, since O’Leary has bowed out to clear his name after a State AG probe and anonymous letters containing various allegations circulated to the Home News and around the county.
The party is considering Superior Court Judge Mathias E. Rodriguez. The fact that he retired on Friday makes it look like he thinks it’s a done deal. I haven’t heard the names of any women being mentioned, though there are two women on council in Woodbridge, former Council President Pat Osborne and Councilwoman Brenda Yori Velasco. Before Vas, this was Arlene Friscia’s seat.
I had blogged here about the lack of diversity on the ticket. And Wisniewski replied here, saying:
…I also noticed there was some concern about not having a particularly diverse ticket in the 19th. This is something I would like to address. In Middlesex County, we have a convention where members of the Democratic county committee decide which candidates will be our nominees in the June Primary. It’s an open process, and the only requirement is that you apply for the position. I’ve been fortunate to have the committee’s trust and endorsement every year since 1993, and along the way I’ve been honored to screen with several qualified individuals. However, we need to remember that it’s the job of the Democratic committee members from Perth Amboy, Woodbridge, Sayreville, Carteret, and South Amboy to select their nominees – not me, my running mates, or even the county chairman. That being said, there will be an opportunity to participate in the next screening two years from now. [italics mine -kw]
It didn’t take 2 years.
Now O’Leary is voicing his unhappiness with Wisniewski to the Home News:
O’Leary said Wisniewski was aware of the nine-page letter before it was distributed. “Clearly, for reasons known only to himself, John was playing politics to benefit himself by becoming part of this anonymous effort to undermine my candidacy,” O’Leary said. O’Leary said he felt betrayed by Wisniewski when Wisniewski made it known to the media that he asked O’Leary to “reconsider the viability” of his bid in a July 28 telephone conversation.
The committee has until Sept 16 to make the ballot replacement, but County Chair Spicuzzo has said the convention will be well before that. I hope that more people will screen, since in March, it was just O’Leary.