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Lisa McCormick, left, and Jim Devine. (Photo: Facebook).

Do not have any milk in your mouth when you read this

By David Wildstein, November 08 2021 4:59 pm

James Devine, the controversial life partner of shadowy perennial candidate Lisa McCormick, is allegedly calling Republican state senators asking them to support Nia Gill (D-Montclair) in her bid for Senate President, according to one GOP senator who received the phone call.

The embattled former Democratic operative is allegedly trying to put together a deal that would allow Gill to seize the senate presidency with sixteen Republican votes and a coalition of four Democratic senators.

But Gill hasn’t authorized Devine to work on her behalf, one of Gill’s supporters told the New Jersey Globe, and that Devine may be “running some sort of rogue operation.”

“Senator Gill, I don’t think, has ever heard of this gentlemen,” the backer said.  “He doesn’t sound like the type of individual she would want to be associated with under any circumstance.”

Devine might be fancying himself as the kind of person who could put together a far-reaching coalition like the one Thomas H. Kean did after the 1971 election when he made a deal with four Democrats and was elected Assembly Speaker with 43 votes, although there is no evidence that a coalition that includes State Sens. Ronald Rice (D-Newark) and Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) could ever become a reality.

Reached by telephone on Monday, Devine denied his role.

“I haven’t spoken to any senators,” he said.  “I haven’t spoken to Nia Gill.”

Devine had been a provocative minor player in recent years.  The Democratic State Committee sued him last month, alleging that he spoofed a mailer and website that misrepresented endorsements in a Roselle school board election.  That matter is ongoing.

Earlier this year, a state administrative law judge found that petitions circulated by Devine to get McCormick on the Democratic gubernatorial primary were entirely fraudulent.  Secretary of State Tahesha Way referred the matter to the attorney general’s office for review.

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