Gov. Phil Murphy sidestepped a question about taking sides in Democratic State Senate primaries between Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen) and Brian Stack (D-Union City) in Hudson County and Richard Codey (D-Roseland) and Nia Gill (D-Montclair) in an Essex/Passaic district.
“No comment on any of the races or the hypothetical scenarios,” Murphy said at his weekly Covid briefing on Tuesday. “So bear with us on that one.”
Murphy’s avoidance of endorsements comes despite strong ties to several of the incumbents.
At a bill signing three months before last year’s gubernatorial election, Stack promised to deliver huge plurality for Murphy’s re-election bid.
“I’d knock down a wall for you and I mean that,” Stack told Murphy.
Codey, a former governor, was one of Murphy’s earliest supporters.
Murphy has waded into primaries in Hudson County over the last two months, quickly endorsing Robert J. Menendez for Congress and Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) for the open State Senate seat in the 32nd district.
Redistricting put Sacco and Stack, and Codey and Gill, into the same districts.
Multiple Hudson County Democrats who spoke to the New Jersey Globe on the condition of anonymity said they expect Sacco and Stack to reach some sort of agreement, obviating a war in 2023. But the terms of a deal have not been worked out.
Murphy did praise the Apportionment Commission for a map that came as a result of an accord between Democrats and Republicans, specifically applauding the leadership of Democratic State Chairman LeRoy Jones, Jr.
“I do want to commend the commissioners from both sides for a thorough and fair process to reach a consensus map,” he said. “As Governor, I look forward to working with both parties in the legislature and our shared priorities.”