Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner Phil Murphy and Hudson County Freeholder Chairman Anthony Vainieri (D-8) sung each other’s praises at a re-election fundraiser in North Bergen Friday night.
“I want to bring up next, a very special guest that we have here, a gentleman that everybody is getting to know,” Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto (D-32) said while introducing Murphy in front of hundreds of supporters at the Waterside Restaurant.
“I say he’s the real deal and somebody that I would love to be working with right now in the executive branch of the State of New Jersey to get a lot of things done for all of us, this is your quality of life, and that is our next governor of the State of New Jersey: Phil Murphy.”
Murphy, who has notched dozens of endorsements that include the majority of the local Democratic parties and major statewide labor unions, seemed thrilled to hype up Vainieri’s re-election campaign.
“I want to say something about Anthony for a minute: this guy’s the real deal. You know him, in many cases for decades – if not years,” he began.
“He’s a successful businessman, he’s the president of the zoning board, you just have to look at places like Braddock Park to say ‘wow, this guy knows what he’s doing.’ And then becomes freeholder and he must be doing good because in short order he becomes the chairman.”
Like state Senator (D-32)/North Bergen Mayor Nick Sacco, Vainieri has an icy relationship with Gov. Chris Christie (R), which was quite apparent when he spoke about Murphy.
“He cares about the State of New Jersey residents! And he won’t close any roads down, he won’t shut any bridges down … he’s gonna take back New Jersey, Trenton, again and that’s Phil Murphy!”
Vainieri also reminded District 8 voters that through teamwork, the first farmers market and arts fair came to Braddock Park, a $4 million lake wall renovation project commenced, county roads were paved and traffic lights and signs were replaced or added during his first two years in office.
Concluding, the freeholder reiterated that it is critical to get Murphy into Drumthwacket.
“We have to get this guy into the governor['s seat]! We need our state aid back, we need our municipal aid back and our schools need their aid back! Again, we’re gonna do it with Phil Murphy in the governor’s office!”
Murphy will square off with a number of cagey underdogs in the June 6 Democratic primary, including Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) and state Senator Ray Lesniak (D-20).
While Vainieri does not have a declared Democratic challenger yet, though many from Team Sacco are expecting North Bergen Police Sgt. Henry Marrero to pursue a rematch from 2014.
The many other dignitaries in attendance included Hudson County Executive Tom DeGise, North Bergen Commissioners Hugo Cabrera, Allen Pascual and Julio Marenco, Bayonne Mayor Jimmy Davis, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-32), Assemblywoman Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-37), Weehawken Mayor Richard Turner, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Guttenberg Councilman Wayne Zitt, West New York Mayor Felix Roque, Bayonne Freeholder Kenny Kopacz (D-1), Hoboken Freeholder Anthony Romano (D-5), Jersey City Freeholder E. Junior Maldonado (D-4), West New York Board of Education Trustees David Morel and Jonathan Castaneda, among many others.