Casagrande welcomes Christie to Colts Neck

Casagrande welcomes Christie to Colts Neck
Chris Christie

After leaving Essex County on Tuesday night, GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie drove to Monmouth County, where he stood beside Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande (R-Colts Neck) at a private home fundraiser in Colts Neck.

About 100 people attended the event.

Casagrande’s running mate, Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) had a fundraiser of his own last week as the two 12th District Republican lawmakers prepare for the possibility of Democrats running candidates against them in the 2009 general election. 

So far, the Democrats do not appear to have coalesced around a pair of challengers here in the 12th – a battleground in the 2007 election as state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank) toppled Dick Codey-backed Democrat Ellen Karcher despite being outspent over 5-1. 

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Long shot Democrat files for to run against DeCroce and Webber

Democrat Wayne Marek is seeking a rematch against Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) and Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) in the 26th Legislative District.

Marek announced today that he filed his nominating petitions for assembly in the solidly Republican district, as well as for the Morris Plains School Board.  Since the elections are held on different dates, Marek can run for both. 

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Funeral services on Monday for father of Jamie Fox

Funeral services for Edward "Buzzy" Fox, the father of former Commissioner of Transportation Jamie Fox, will be held on Monday March 2 at 10AM at St. Genevieve R.C. Church in Elizabeth.  A viewing will be held on Sunday, March 1 from 2-4 PM and from 7-9 PM at Higgins and Bonner Echo Lake Funeral Home in Westfield.  Fox passed away on Monday at age 85.

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Morning News Digest: February 25, 2009

Essex GOP backs Christie for Governor

Essex GOP backs Christie for Governor
Chris Christie, pictured with wife Mary Pat earlier this month in Somerset County.

CEDAR GROVE - GOP gubernatorial candidate Chris Christie this evening secured the backing of the Essex County Republican Commitee after participating in a screening here with fellow candidates, former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan and Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine.

A fourth gubernatorial candidate, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), did not screen, as he is out of the state on business.  

Cedar Grove toes the north end of Essex with its own Jersey spangle of Italian restaurants, VFW Hall, fire, police, shopping center, town hall, diner, Irish taverns, highway overpass, train tracks, more restaurants and bars, blending equal parts Italian and Irish with the business district edge to Italian cuisine, but the Irish colors everywhere. 

This is the domain of state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-Cedar Grove), Essex County’s sole Republican legislator, chair of the Essex County Republican Party, and perennial antagonist of Senate President Richard Codey (D-West Orange), who lives just south of here. 

“It’s the little red corner of the county where I’m allowed,” cracked Rick Shaftan, Lonegan’s campaign strategist, as he pulled up to the banquet hall behind the wheel of a sedan in a county where Democrats own a more than 4-1 edge over the GOP.  

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Gussen withdraws from challenge to Huttle and Johnson

Teaneck Councilman Adam Gussen, who last week filed papers with the Bergen County Democratic Organization to run against Assembly members Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) and Valerie Vainieri Huttle (D-Fair Lawn), has withdrawn.

“Though I have no doubt of my potential for success in this race, I truly understand the need for a strong and united Bergen County Democratic Organization,” Gussen said in a statement. “I want to thank those who encouraged me to run and let them know that their support was greatly appreciated.  I can not rule out future runs for the Legislature.”

Gussen’s challenge was not welcome by BCDO Chairman Michael Kasparian, who as a good will gesture last month stated that he would not field a challenge against the incumbents, who are aligned the Real Bergen Democrats -- a group of reformers that has traditionally been at odds with the larger county party and its indicted former chairman, Joe Ferriero.

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Is Watson Coleman's 'second chance' tour an audition for LG?

Is Watson Coleman's 'second chance' tour an audition for LG?

Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman's marathon of "Second Chance" hearings across the state is widely seen first and foremost as an initiative brought about by a personal struggle: watching her two sons return from 5 1/2 year prison stints for robbing a clothing store at gun point. But with Watson Coleman's name widely assumed to be on Governor Jon Corzine's shortlist of potential running mates, some insiders see it as an audition as well. While not doubting her personal connection and passion for the cause, some observers see Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) as building name ID across the state and taking ownership of an issue that appeals to the inner city, minority base whose large turnout Corzine may need to win reelection. "In a state where there are not many well-known candidates for any statewide office at this point beyond Gov. Corzine and Chris Christie, she would certainly be an attractive candidate who can go out there and get her name better known," said Quinnipiac University pollster Clay Richards.  "It's logical that she do this kind of thing, and she has a message.  Unlike officials who represent a single geographic area, it goes beyond her constituency and it's attractive."

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In Atlantic County, Formica hopes to replace Russo

A Republican has already emerged to replace Atlantic County Freeholder Tom Russo, who announced yesterday that he will retire at the end of his current term.

Frank Formica, a Margate resident who runs the Formica Brothers Bakery in the Ducktown section of Atlantic City, announced his candidacy with fanfare today at a ceremony presided over by Egg Harbor Township Mayor/former state Sen. James “Sonny” McCullough.  

In attendance were most of Atlantic County’s Republican power players, including County Executive Dennis Levinson; Assemblymen Vince Polistina and John Amodeo; and Atlantic County Republican Chairman Keith Davis.

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The Back Room

POLITICO: GOP on track to expand House majority by 5 or 6 seats

Tepid fundraising, underperforming candidates and a lousy party brand are threatening to deprive House Republicans of the sweeping 2014 gains that some top party officials have been predicting this year, according to Politicker alum Alex Isenstadt, now of Politico.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 2nd

Campaign season now under way in Bergen County Politics is practiced year-round in Bergen County, and street-level campaigning has been going on quietly all summer. But both Republicans and Democrats say the Rutherford Street Fair on Labor Day signals a more intense phase of electioneering. (Ensslin/The Bergen Record)  ...

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White House’s Tuition Challenge Being Met in NJ

By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students.  The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >


My Republican Hillary Clinton Experience    There is a veritable plethora of reportage in print, internet, television and radio media speculating as to whether Hillary Clinton will seek the Democratic... more »
(8-27-14) All Americans Should Support Gov. Perry - Political prosecutions have no place in American life. Those who use the justice system as they are using it in Texas... more »
(Asbury Park, NJ) -- There's a word for someone who says one thing and does another: hypocrite.  There's no shortage of 'em in Trenton -- from ... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Governor Christie ripped President Obama this summer for failing to carve out some time during a Texas fundraising swing to visit the Mexican border, where the unprecedented flood of immigrant children from Central America had reached a crisis point. ...Yet Christie is not squeezing in a tour of the troubled border during his own three-day trade and diplomatic mission to Mexico, which is set to begin on Wednesday. The governor is planning a series of meetings with Mexican officials, including President Enrique Peña Nieto and the finance and energy ministers." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record


Governor Chris Christie's trip to Mexico...:


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