Although the Essex County Democratic Committee announced they will be supporting Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-19) for speaker, incumbent Vincent Prieto (D-32) is doubling down on seeking re-election to the post.
By John Heinis/Hudson County View
“I remain committed to running and winning another term as Speaker of the New Jersey General Assembly and I am certain that I have the support of a majority of the members of the Essex County Assembly delegation, today’s announcement notwithstanding,” Prieto said in a statement.
“As Chairman of the Hudson County Democratic Organization, I always take great caution in making political statements to ensure that my constituency is uniformly behind our position. That is not the case in Essex County as it relates to the upcoming vote for Speaker.”
Earlier today, Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Leroy Jones said that the Essex Assembly delegation had reached a consensus to support Coughlin as the next speaker.
“It is my belief that, as Speaker, Assemblyman Coughlin will provide strong leadership to the New Jersey General Assembly and will work in partnership with our Democratic nominee for Governor, Ambassador Phil Murphy, and his running mate for Lt. Governor, Assemblywoman Sheila Oliver,” Jones said in a prepared statement.
“Together, along with our Essex Delegation in the Assembly, we will be able to address the challenges of fiscal responsibility, quality education, strengthening our middle class, job creation and improving the overall quality of life for all our residents that our state faces in the immediate future.”
While Coughlin’s name has been floated as a possible successor to Prieto for many months, the incumbent announced in May that he’d be seeking a third term in May, reiterating to Hudson County View in June that he was confident he would be named speaker for a third term.