The Perth Amboy torque point

Tired of being bad mouthed behind her back – and out in the open – by the municipal chair of the Middlesex County Democratic Committee, Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz wants Leslie Dominguez Rodriguez gone.

Rodriguez backed Bill Delgado for mayor against Diaz last year, a candidate crushed by Diaz in the November election.

The mayor and her allies last night asked Rodriguez to resign. But a source close to Perth Amboy politics said she’s fighting it.

“If she doesn’t step down, we will wage county committee battle, and she will lose,” the source said.

“I’m a union leader,” said Rodriguez, a member of CWA, unhappy with Diaz’s support of public worker pen/ben overhaul. “I gave her the floor. I made it clear it was a nonpartisan race. She was booed.”

The bigger battlefield dimensions are unmistakable here, as the forces of labor leader Kevin McCabe look to supplant sitting Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Peter Barnes with McCabe.

Rodriguez supports Barnes. She serves as vice chair of the county party committee, in fact.

Diaz and her allies support McCabe as part of a foundation with Woodbridge that puts the challenger in a good position to buck the standing power structure if he can land the support of one more key Middlesex town.

But they will first have to buck Rodriguez, who refuses to budge.

"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