Sources: Barnes to back McCabe in Middlesex

Middlesex County Democratic Chairman Peter Barnes will throw his support behind Kevin McCabe, the man he beat for the chairmanship two years ago, according to two sources familiar with the turning of political events in the sprawling Central Jersey county.

A former Assemblyman, Barnes took over the party with the support of Sen. Bob Smith (D-17) and Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-19) after Chairman Joe Spicuzzo melted down amid corruption charges related to his job as county sheriff.

Widely respected, former FBI man Barnes defeated McCabe at the Middlesex Dems Convention two years ago.

In his 80s, the veteran chairman was ready to go again come June. 

But Wisniewski’s peel off from Barnes and Smith earlier this week signified the end of the Barnes era, as more party leaders followed with endorsements, making it increasingly mathematically difficult for the sitting chairman to obtain another year as head of the party.

Presumptive Democratic gubernatorial nominee Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) backed McCabe for chair in 2011’s losing cause that at the time she said would materialize as a victory when McCabe succeeds Barnes.

Come June, the succession will finalize. 

"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