Published November 15, 2008
State Sen. Capri Cafaro of Liberty, D-32nd, has set the bar quite high for whoever is appointed to replace Sen. John Boccieri in the 33rd District. Boccieri is going to Washington as the 16th Congressional District representative, and Democrats in the state Senate will select his successor.
Why does Cafaro's opinion matter? Because she will be the leader of the 12 Democrats in the Senate come January. While the selection process is formal — the Democratic Party in each county in the 33rd District will submit recommendations to the caucus — the minority leader will certainly hold sway.
And from what she said Saturday morning during an interview on a talk show hosted by Dr. William Binning and this writer on WGFT-1330 AM, the job isn't for the faint-hearted or the lazy.
Indeed, Cafaro has earned a reputation of being one of hardest working legislators in the General Assembly and actually spends time reading legislation that is introduced. During the radio show, it became clear that she wants Boccieri's successor to have the same work ethic.
In other words, if you're thinking of applying for the job of state senator just to bolster your public pension, don't bother. The minority leader in waiting isn't going to back someone she thinks will end up being a political hack.
There is no doubt that electability will be a key factor, but from what Cafaro said Saturday it is one of several that will be taken into consideration.