EDISON - Running for the LD 18 Senate seat, Assemblyman Peter Barnes (D-18) said he didn't think much of Republican Gov. Chris Christie campaigning here for Barnes' opponent, East Brunswick Mayor David Stahl.
"It's a head fake, and it's neither here nor there," said Barnes (pictured), who said he has been pounding on doors since June.
Christie beat Jon Corzine in this district by 4%, where registered Democrats outpace Republicans 48,000 to 17,000, and the Stahl Campaign has blitzed Barnes with a heavy helping of mail and television.
Stahl switched parties to run for the seat being vacated by state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18).
Sources were divided on Christie's presence here in the district last week at Stahl's side, but most believe the governor was intent on sending a message to Buono that he can campaign with impunity in her home district.
Standing outside Democratic Party headquarters after meeting with U.S. Senate candidate Cory Booker, Barnes took a shot at Stahl for the party switch.
"He doesn't know his own values," said the Democratic Senate candidate. "That he would back Barack Obama and then switch parties after the election and run with Chris Christie shows he has no core set of beliefs."
Rick Rosenberg, general consultant to the Stahl Campaign, said Barnes, the son of a former Middlesex County Democratic chairman, only sees the world in blue and red.
"Dave has a record of working with the other party for the benefit of the middle class," he said. "He has a much better record than simply toeing the party line."
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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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