Diorio leaning toward rematch with Schaer and Scalera in 36th

In 2007, political novices Don Diorio and Carmen Pio Costa were largely overlooked in District 36 until after Election Day, when they surprised by coming relatively close to beating the Democratic incumbents,  Fred Scalera (D-Nutley) and Gary Schaer (D-Passaic).

Now, with East Rutherford Councilman Joel Brizzi making an unexpected exit from the Assembly race, Diorio appears ready once again to join forces with Pio Costa for a rematch against Scalera and Schaer.  Only this time, state Republicans say they are going to play in the district in a major way, making it one of their most targeted races.

At the moment, Diorio appears to be the favorite to win the backing of the Republican chairs from the three counties that comprise the district:  Bergen, Essex and Passaic.

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Monmouth GOP Chairman gives organization line to Christie

Monmouth GOP Chairman gives organization line to Christie

Monmouth County GOP Chairman Joseph Oxley has awarded the organization line to former U.S Attorney Christopher Christie in Republican primary for gubernatorial primary, and says he will take the advice of party leaders and elected officials, rather than hold a convention.

Christie had overwhelming support from the Monmouth GOP steering committee, which is made up of elected officials and municipal chairs, according to a PolitickerNJ.com source.  Earlier this month, the Christie campaign released a list of 58 Monmouth endorsements.

"Support for Chris Christie in Monmouth County is broad, strong and enthusiastic," said Oxley.  "The excitement this morning clearly indicated that Chris Christie's hard work in building grassroots support throughout the county has cemented his status as the Standard-bearer for the Monmouth County GOP in both June and November." 

Oxley said in a statement that all past and present state, county and elected Republican Party officials and incumbent Municipal Chairs were invited to hear presentations from the gubernatorial candidates. 

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Roughneen says he'll run for Somerset Freeholder

Roughneen says he'll run for Somerset Freeholder
Thomas Roughneen

Attorney and Iraq War veteran Thomas Roughneen says he'll seek the Republican nomination for an open seat on the Somerset County Freeholder Board.  

“I came to the decision on Monday and made some calls yesterday,” said Roughneen, who subsequently submitted a letter to the municipal party chairs and to Somerset County GOP Chairman Dale Florio.

“It would be a privilege to serve the people,” said the candidate, who is one of three Roughneen brothers who have either served or are serving in Iraq. 

Roughneen, a Watchung resident, is the first of last year’s unsuccessful 7th Congressional District GOP candidates to formally submit a letter of interest to party members. 

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LD 23 Assembly candidates attend forum tonight

Three candidates running for a vacant Assembly seat in the 23rd Legislative District are scheduled to appear tonight at a candidates’ forum sponsored by the Clinton Township Republican Club.

The event will feature candidates’ opening comments, and then questions from the audience.  It starts at 7 p.m. in the Regina Room of the Holiday Inn in Clinton Township. 

The candidates - Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt, Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson, and Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio – will compete Saturday in a special convention held by the joint Hunterdon/Warren County Republican Committees at the Clinton Township Middle School.

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Sordillo considers another freeholder bid

Sordillo considers another freeholder bid
Warren Township Deputy Mayor Victor Sordillo

Warren Township Deputy Mayor Victor Sordillo may pursue a run for the seat veteran Somerset County Freeholder Rick Fontana is vacating at the end of his term this year.

“I have not ruled out running at this time,” Sordillo told supporters in a Tuesday night email. 

The 2007 candidate for freeholder and 2008 candidate for U.S. Congress said he plans to meet with Somerset County Republican Party Chairman Dale Florio to determine a course of action.

“If I can add something to the field of candidates by stimulating ideas and debate, I will enter the contest,” said Sordillo. “If I believe that the choices are sufficient to ensure the strength of the party, I will become an observer and supporter this year.”

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Corzine picks new Deputy Chiefs of Staff

Corzine picks new Deputy Chiefs of Staff
Gov. Jon Corzine's new Deputy Chiefs of Staff, Marilyn Davis and Mark Matzen.

Administration officials confirm that Marilyn Davis and Mark Matzen will join the front office as Deputy Chiefs of Staff, replacing Patti McGuire, who has taken a position with a lobbying firm. 

The Governor's office will split some of McGuire's duties between Davis and Matzen as part of a small reorganization.

Matzen will return to state government after nearly three years at MWW, where he served as senior vice president.  He served as Deputy Chief of Staff under Governors Richard Codey and James E. McGreevey, as Chief of Staff to U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, and as New Hampshire Political Director for John Kerrey's presidential campaign in 1992.

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Morning News Digest: February 18, 2009

No speeches but plenty of Christie vibe at Union County GOP's Lincoln Day auction

No speeches but plenty of Christie vibe at Union County GOP's Lincoln Day auction
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, left, and Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine

ROSELLE PARK – On a night of party revelry, two men here tonight appeared at least initially dejected.

There would be no candidates’ speeches at the Union County Republican Party’s Lincoln Day Dinner/Auction, and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan accepted the news with admitted disappointment.

“First it was five minute speeches then three minutes and now we’re down to no speeches,” said Lonegan when he was asked if he would be addressing the packed crowd at the annual event.

A second candidate for governor, Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine, arrived with an envelope containing prepared remarks in his jacket pocket, but there was no need, he learned from Lonegan when Levine walked in the door to the small but swanky Solar do Minho banquet hall.

“The candidates are mingling, talking to people,” explained Union County GOP Chairman Phil Morin. “They’re getting their message out. If we do speeches, we’ll be here all night.”

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The Back Room

Newark state correction officer sentenced to prison for drug trafficking

A former senior state correction officer from Newark was sentenced to prison today for trafficking 22 kilograms of cocaine from Texas to New Jersey, according to acting Attorney General John J. Hoffman.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: August 20th

Bergen County Exec's race: Fort Lee Mayor Sokolich sees Bridgegate investigations as potential election catalyst FORT LEE - Fort Lee Mayor Mark Sokolich was the emcee of Tuesday's meet-and-greet event at the Richard A. Nest Adult Activity Center in his Bergen County borough, introducing U.S. Sen. Cory Booker...

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Simplify Pay-to-Play with one state law

By Jeff Brindle A lone PAC contribution to Trenton Mayor Eric Jackson’s campaign highlights the need for pay-to-play reform in New Jersey. During the recent mayoralty election in Trenton, newly elected Mayor Eric Jackson received an $8,200 campaign... Read More >


(8-20-14) Can You Take the ‘Partisan’ out of ‘Partisan Politics’? - Redistricting will not take place for another seven years. Yet the debate has already... more »
    My Richard Nixon Ambivalence   Today is the fortieth anniversary of President Richard Nixon’s resignation address to the nation on August 8, 1974. At that time, I was ambivalent about... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(Washington DC)-- Two recent votes on Capitol Hill suggest an overdue and radical departure from our nation's Draconian and costly War on Drugs.  It's a long-overdue discussion (and not just... more »

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