Quickly taking sides in a party contest that could pit two senators against each other, Senate President Steve Sweeney has endorsed State Sen. Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) for Union County Democratic Chairman.
Scutari quickly announced his candidacy after Jerry Green announced his resignation for health reasons. Acting Chair Colleen Mahr, a candidate for the unexpired term, is an ally of State Sen. Joe Cryan (D-Union).
Sweeney swings few votes in a county committee election — unless there are some uncommitted iron workers among the electorate — but his decision to enter the fray sends a signal of Scutari’s standing in the Senate Democratic leadership.
“Nick Scutari has a proven reputation of strong leadership and has dedicated his time and talent to empowering Union County Democrats and getting them involved and civically engaged,” Sweeney said. “He has the ability to serve the Democrats of Union County with the highest standard of service. It is my honor to endorse my colleague and friend as Union County’s next Democratic Party Chairman.”
Sweeney and Scutari have been Senate colleagues since 2004, and it was Sweeney who named Scutari to the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee chairmanship.