Phil Thigpen, Democratic Party county chairman of the largest Democratic county in the state, mourned U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg's (D-NJ) decision not to pursue re-election.
"Senator Lautenberg brought home the bacon," Thigpen of Essex County said. "Whoever follows him won't be able to do what he did. A new guy won't be able to deliver like he did."
U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker are both in the hunt for the seat.
Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) hasn't ruled it out, and neither has Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34).
"At least Frank Pallone has some experience down there," Thigpen said, a dig at Booker. "It's too bad Lautenberg is going to go. Neither Pallone nor Booker will be able to deliver like Lautenberg, eventually they will."
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"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile- The Bergen Record
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