If you're looking to hear something positive about the Democratic Party in New Jersey, don't ask former Governor and current State Sen. Dick Codey.

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In a wide-ranging interview on the state of his party and this year's gubernatorial race, the always candid Codey holds nothing back.

"Obviously, Democrats are endorsing (Gov. Chris) Christie," says Codey. "I don't think it's all that meaningful, but perception-wise it is. People think this Democrat or that Democrat endorsing the Governor has big significance. I don't agree with it, but in any event it hurts."

The Democratic Party in the Garden State is in disarray according to Codey. When asked to elaborate on that point, Codey does not mince words.

"Let's be candid about our party," says Codey. "Today our party is in a stranglehold of political power bosses who are not members of the legislature and in most cases, not even party officials or elected officials and that's the bigger problem. The Democrat Party, it's shallow and it's hollow and it has no core. It has no core values. It's lost its heart. It's lost its way and this party has to be rebuilt."

At the end of the day, says Codey, there are still 700,000 more registered Democrats in New Jersey than Republicans. He thinks if Democrats can get the right message out to the voters that powerbrokers shouldn't influence their decisions, Sen. Barbara Buono might have a shot in her bid to unseat Christie this November.

"If we can't do that, then we're not going to win," explains Codey.

A stunning chain of events led Codey to become Governor in 2004. Then-Gov. Jim McGreevey resigned after admitting to having a homosexual relationship with a former advisor. When he left office, Codey's approval ratings rivaled that of Christie's current high numbers.

For weeks at the tail end of last year, speculation was running rampant that Codey might challenge Christie this year. He decided not to do that.

"I don't look back and regret it," insists Codey. "It was the wrong time for me and I don't regret it especially seeing what Buono's going through with these so-called Democratic powerbrokers. I don't regret it. Not for one second."