U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone's campaign for U.S. Senate is showing some signs of life this week as the congressman announced the opening of six regional campaign headquarters.
Though Pallone was considered to have the best shot at upending frontrunner Cory Booker in the truncated race for U.S. Senate, his campaign has been largely silent to date as he trails Booker by more than 40 points in the most recent poll, 49 percent to 6 percent.
The other two challengers in the race, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and U.S Rep. Rush Holt also have done little to date to cut into Booker's lead and each trails the Newark Mayor by a 49 to 9 margin.
Pallone today announced the opening of headquarters in Bergen, Essex, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris and Union Counties as he seeks to gain traction for the August 13 primary.
The campaign in a press release stated that "Congressman Pallone has been travelling the state discussing his long history as a Democratic leader fighting for progressive results, including his work to create good paying jobs and keep them in America, increase the minimum wage, defend a woman’s right to choose and provide access to quality care and protect Social Security and Medicare. With each day more and more of New Jersey’s Democratic voters are hearing about how the Congressman helped write President Obama’s common sense health care reform, ended ocean dumping, cleaned up our toxic waste sites and led the battle to get critical funding for those left devastated by Sandy and they are asking how to join the fight!"
Pallone has yet to go up with a television advertisement but has made some headlines with his so far failed attempts to convince his three opponents to sign the "People's Pledge" to forego outside spending.
With just six weeks until the primary, cutting into Booker's lead is an uphill climb, particularly with Holt in the race. The two men, whose records in Congress are similar, will no doubt split the anti-Booker vote and with both in the race, each will have a difficult time gaining traction.
Pallone maintains a war chest of about $3 million, more than the rest of his opponents had combined when the race was announced earlier this month.
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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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