The “Line A” Essex County Democratic organization slate in Roseland – the one backed by County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo in a fight for county committee seats against candidates supported by former Gov. Richard Codey – spent the weekend campaigning at local events. The strategy seems clear: the DiVincenzo candidates are tying themselves to the candidates for mayor and council, who are unopposed in the Democratic primary.
The Roseland War will determine who controls the local Democratic party in a small town of about 5,000 people where Republicans control local government. It’s also the hometown of DiVincenzo and Codey, two powerful New Jersey Democrats who despise each other. Control of the county committee is a trophy of little real value, other than a demonstration of who has the greatest testicular girth.
Because the Codey slate filed for nine of the twelve seats, the former governor needs to win seven of the nine to oust Democratic Municipal Chairman Julius “Jay” Coltre, a staunch DiVincenzo ally. DiVincenzo needs to win just three additional seats, since Essex County Democratic Chairman LeRoy Jones would break a 6-6 tie. Phil Alagia, one of the top Democratic strategists in the state, is charged with making sure DiVincenzo wins. Codey, who has taken on the political establishment many times during his career and won, is the chief tactician for his slate.
The premier race is in Roseland’s 1st district, where his son, Kevin, is running for County Committeeman against John McGovern. McGovern spent five years as Codey’s legislative aide before a failed restaurant venture turned the two friends into bitter enemies.Roseland Line A Press Advisory - Community Involvement (002)