By Darryl R. Isherwood | February 11th, 2013 - 2:53pm
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Christie courting influential black minister

Gov. Chris Christie is heavily courting influential Bishop Reginald Jackson of the African Methodist Episcopal Church for an endorsement and the two have had at least one meeting to discuss the potential backing, according to two sources familiar with the talks.

Jackson, the former executive director of the Black Ministers Council, which represents more than 600 black churches across the state, holds heavy sway with the black religious community in New Jersey.  In 2009, he backed then-Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine over Christie, saying he does not take his endorsement lightly.

"This endorsement is made after much wrestling and soul searching. But it is an endorsement that I strongly make," Jackson said.  "It's hard to be popular in tough economic times, but to his credit Jon Corzine has made the tough calls," he said then.

Jackson reportedly agrees with Christie's views on education reform and the importance of charter schools.  Both sources described the meeting between the governor and Jackson as positive, but one said Jackson is unlikely to endorse until after the June primary.

Should Jackson endorse Christie it would put a traditionally Democratic constituency at least partially in his corner.  The governor has already secured the endorsement of the laborers union and is said to be heavily lobbying the building trades to join the coalition as well.

But even should Christie grab Jackson's endorsement, it's not known how many endorsements would follow.

Last week, Christie's opponent, state Sen. Barbara Buono, kicked off her campaign.  Among the speakers at her kick-off event was the Rev. Ronald Owens of the New Hope Baptist Church in Metuchen, an influential minister in his own right.

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

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Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

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