It’s not the first family fight of the fledgling Murphy governorship and it won’t be the last, but the race for Mayor of Newark will be something to watch this year. Gayle Cheneyfield-Jenkins, who backed Phil Murphy when Ras Baraka was with Steve Fulop, is now running for Mayor. Word is she figured Murphy would at least remain neutral – but from all appearances, the new Governor is all in with Baraka’s re-election.
It’s a Hobson’s choice for Murphy: he wants a good relationship with Baraka, who so far is the favorite for a second term. But he also risks giving his supporters the impression that he is ungrateful. We’ve all seen that before, and it’s a terrible long term strategy for any Governor – especially in New Jersey, which hasn’t re-elected a Democratic Governor in forty years.
And Cheneyfield-Jenkins should get this too: it’s not the first time her early investment in a candidate didn’t pay dividends. It is, at the very least, the third time.