A future decision by U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) to run for U.S. Senate would jar loose a Middlesex-Monmouth universe of Democrats eager to run for his seat.
A victory by someone from Middlesex in the gerrymandered Democratic Party district would deliver a congressman to the state’s second most populated county for the first time in 20 years.
The late U.S. Rep. Bernard Dwyer of Edison retired from Congress in 1992.
Some of those who could emerge as contenders include:
Woodbridge Mayor John McCormac, mayor of the biggest single municipality in the district who is said to have an interest in Congress;
State Sen. Joe Vitale (D-19), now has veteran experience as a legislator;
State Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18), depending on her showing as a gubernatorial candidate, she could emerge as the favorite;
Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, the suburban superstar has the pedigree and record but comes from the smaller, more Republican Monmouth County portion of the 6th Congressional District;
Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman, a young party up and comer who already has a local record on which to run;
Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz, the state’s only Latina mayor would be the state’s only Latina congressperson;
Assemblyman (and Democratic State Chairman) John Wisniewski, the veteran comes out of Sayreville, a key building block town in the district;
Monmouth County Democratic Committee Chairman Vin Gopal, has fast established himself as a star in the party;
Long Branch Councilman John Pallone, name ID helps in this business and he is the sitting congressman’s brother.
Former Edison Mayor Jun Choi, he’s interested and has long had Congress in his sights.
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When his close ally David Samson resigned as chairman of the Port Authority over conflict-of-interest questions earlier this year, Christie replaced Samson with John Degnan, a pillar of the Democratic Party establishment. And now, confronted with a crisis, Christie has turned to “Jamie,’’ as Fox has been known throughout political circles since he began as an aide in the Democratic Senate in the 1980s." - columnist Charles Stile
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