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Gov. Phil Murphy, right, with Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo. Photo courtesy of Facebook.

Murphy, DiVincenzo showing off new alliance

Democrats will announce plans for new Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. government complex

By David Wildstein, January 22 2020 11:54 am

Essex County plans to construct a new courthouse named for Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Gov. Phil Murphy and Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo will announce their plan to a new 150,000-square-foot office building in Newark that will accommodate 11 new courtrooms for tax court judges, as well as space for the county clerk, surrogate and register of deeds and mortgages this afternoon.

The joint announcement evinces the newly-formed political alliance between Murphy and DiVincenzo, the most powerful political leader in Essex County.

For most of the last 19 years, DiVincenzo had been closely allied with South Jersey Democrats and Democratic powerbroker George Norcross.

Last week, DiVincenzo endorsed Murphy for re-election to a second term and pledged to “work tirelessly to ensure he wins another term.”

DiVincenzo specifically praised Murphy’s support for “our initiative to expand our government complex.”

The county executive had supported Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr. for Democratic State Chairman against Murphy’s candidate, incumbent John Currie.

In a deal announced last month, Currie retained the post until after the 2021 gubernatorial primary and Jones will assume the chairmanship at that time.    The split over the state party lasted nearly a year.

Jones had previously said he would back Murphy for re-election.

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