A source close to Senate President Steve Sweeney said the senator will not mount a challenge to Gov. Chris Christie, preferring instead to concentrate on his own re-election bid as well as keeping the Legislature in Democratic hands.
"We've seen the damage that a Republican governor can do," the source said. "We can't allow a Republican Legislature to be part of the dismantling of our labor community, while turning its back on women, the seniors in our state and our children's education.
Sweeney will make a formal announcement later this morning.
Asked if Sweeney plans to endorse Sen. Barbara Buono, the only Democrat so far in the field, the source said only that Sweeney will meet with Buono in "the near future."
Sweeney is yet one more big name Democrat who has chosen to forego a challenge to Christie, following Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who announced last month that he would not run, and Sen. and former Gov. Dick Codey, who said Friday he was out of the race.
Sweeney had been a vocal recruiter of a strong Democratic candidate while at the same time keeping alive his own possible run. In an interview last month, Sweeney said it is his job as a leader of the party to find the strongest possible candidate. To that end he was willing to put aside bad blood with Codey, should the former governor have jumped into the race.
With Sweeney's decision, Buono remains the only major Democrat in the race and today could mark the coalescing of the party around her. U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell has not ruled out a bid, but sources have said a challenge from the 75-year-old congressman, who just came through a bruising election season, is less likely.
After weeks of speculation, the direction of the Newark mayoral race may take an important turn today as prominent members of the Payne political family gather at Newark's Robert Treat Hotel at 11:30 a.m.
The campaign of Newark mayoral candidate Shavar Jeffries has called a press conference at which both U.S. Rep. Donald M. Payne, Jr. (D-10) and Essex County deputy chief of staff and former state Assemblyman William D. Payne will be present.Read More >
Days Since Last Christie Press Conference (Jan. 9)
Greenstein versus Watson Coleman in Princeton PRINCETON – When Princeton Community Democratic Organization (PCDO) Chairman Jim Durbin announced a second ballot runoff tonight and the losers headed for the back of the room, he alerted committee members to the names of the two surviving competitors. But people already...
By Suzanne M. Walters When unions representing local police and firefighters cannot agree to new contract terms with local governments, State law mandates that the parties submit to binding arbitration. A third-party referee, then, sets the... Read More >
"The governor has allowed political cronyism to continue and even flourish, rather than stamp it out, with some of his closest confidants enriching themselves through millions of dollars in state contracts, and legal and lobbying fees, an Asbury Park Press review of thousands of pages of campaign, lobbying and contracting documents found."- The Asbury Park Press
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