Assemblywomen Angela McKnight (D-Jersey City) and Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Trenton) declined to comment on Monday on how they might vote on the version of the budget legislative leadership is set to introduce later today.
Both legislators were potential targets for Murphy to flip in his quest for backing from 14 Democratic assembly members, a quest that seems increasingly doomed to fail.
Reynolds-Jackson, who replaced State Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio when the latter ascended to her current post, could have been flipped by her predecessor, but she appeared a few feet behind State Senate President Steve Sweeney and Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin at their Monday press conference.
That press conference followed a caucus meeting that delayed some of the legislature’s committee meetings by more than an hour.
McKnight, on the other hand, was a target because of her on-again-off-again relationship with State Sen. Sandra Cunningham (D-Jersey City), a staunch Sweeney ally and deputy majority leader in that chamber.
It’s possible that playing mum is a strategy to avoid angering legislative leadership in case of a defection, but it’s equally possible – and perhaps more likely – that the move is one meant to more tightly control the flow of information ahead of the budget vote legislators are preparing for on Thursday.