Thigpen: ‘the only person I’ve heard from… is Buono’

He chairs the biggest Democratic County in the state on the eve of the 2013 gubernatorial election, but Essex County Democratic Committee Chairman Phil Thigpen hasn’t heard from Newark Mayor Cory Booker or state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).

Both Booker and Sweeney have expressed interest in a gubernatorial bid but to date have not made an announcement.

“The only person I’ve heard from is Barbara Buono,” said Thigpen, who this week received a phone call from the state senator from Middlesex County informing him of her decision to pursue a 2013 run for governor.

So far, Buono is the only announced elected official in the race for governor.

“I think it’s great that she extended the courtesy to me,” Thigpen said of Buono. “That’s a good start.” 

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie