Cory Booker, Democratic leaders back Essex executive Joseph DiVincenzo for re-election

By Eunice Lee/The Star-Ledger
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on December 13, 2013

Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo, shown here endorsing Gov. Chris Christie's bid for re-election in June, kicked of his own re-election campaign earlier this week. (Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger)


NEWARK — Flanked by party faithful, Joseph DiVincenzo formally kicked off his bid for a fourth term as county executive earlier this week.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and politicians from federal to municipal levels of government heaped words of praise on DiVincenzo, a Democrat, at a campaign event held in the gymnasium of Essex County College.

"Look at his record. He is the most competent and qualified (of) leaders," Booker said. Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), who did not attend, also endorsed DiVincenzo in a statement read at the event.

"No one can argue with his performance and the results,” Rep. Donald Payne Jr. (D-10th Dist.) added.

Democratic leaders from within Essex but also from elsewhere in the state attended the campaign event to show their support for DiVincenzo, who crossed party lines to endorse Republican Gov. Chris Christie in the November general election. Christie was not at Monday's campaign event.

However Hudson County Democrats, including Assembly Speaker-Elect Vincent Prieto and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop, attended and Senate President Stephen Sweeney also showed his support of DiVincenzo.

DiVincenzo, who easily won re-election in 2010, touted the county's improved fiscal health as well as infrastructure and facility upgrades his administration has made since he became Essex executive in 2003. He has already raised about $1.5 million in campaign funds ahead of the June 2014 primary race, financial disclosure records show.

“We have transformed Essex County into a model government. However, there is more that has to be done,” he said, noting his goal of reaching a AAA bond rating. Under his watch, the county's bond rating has climbed from junk status to AA2.

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