Sweeney declined DGA invite

Senate President Steve Sweeney, rumored to be eyeing a potential run for governor, was invited to attend this week’s Democratic Governor’s Association conference in Los Angeles, but turned down the request, according to a source close to Sweeney.

Sweeney begged off the event citing the need to stay in New Jersey to deal with issues here including the push for a minimum wage increase and Senate Budget Committee hearings on Sandy, the source said.

“He was honored but decided the issues here were more important,” the source said.

State Sen. Barbara Buono, who also is a potential challenger to Gov. Chris Christie, is in L.A. now for the convention.  Buono is so far the most vocal of the potential contenders and has already been in the field with a poll and six days ago posted a job advertisement for a campaign manager on democraticgain.org.

It’s unknown if other potential challengers, including Newark Mayor Cory Booker, were invited to the event.

The support of the DGA could be crucial in the race as Christie is expected to command millions in outside funding. 

"I don't think what he's doing tonight, the method by which he's doing it helps to build a trustful relationship."
—Gov. Chris Christie reacting to President Barack Obama's speech on immigration reform.