Doherty presents himself as the fiscal and social conservative

Doherty presents himself as the fiscal and social conservative
Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.)

CLINTON – His name’s in and Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) strides across the stage in front of the burgundy curtain, a 45-year old retired Army captain, 6 ft. 2 and ramrod at the podium now, telling the crowd he wants government out of people’s lives and out of their wallets. 

To win today, Doherty will need to prove he did the political legwork in Hunterdon County, which has about 40 more county committee seats than Doherty’s Warren County.  His allies say he has them, thanks to his vanguard role as a movement conservative, and it doesn't take long for the boom to come into his voice as he tries to prove his viability. 

“I’ve run in a lot of hard primaries, ladies and gentlemen, but I’m the senior guy for a reason,” Doherty cries. “Voters are pretty smart. They know who the Reagan conservative is. I’m always been the top voter, ladies and gentlemen, in Hunterdon and Warren counties."

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Nominating speeches moments away

Nominating speeches moments away
State Sen. Minority Leader Thomas Kean (R-Union) and Hunterdon County Freeholder William Mennen to his immediate left.

CLINTON TWP. - Hackettstown Mayor Michael B. Lavery nominates Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) and Raritan Twp. Mayor Richard O'Malley backs him up.

"Mike has an overwhelming passion to vote against taxes, as you see in your packets, he's voted 103 times against taxes," O'Malley tells the packed house.

In the back of the crowd stands State Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Union).

"I'm neutral," says Kean of the Karrow-Doherty showdown. "I will support the Republican nominee."

He removes an envelope from his pocket.

"There is a senate pin in there that I will present to the winner," says Kean.

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It has begun

It has begun
Hunterdon County GOP Chairman Henry Kuhl

CLINTON - The middle school sits on the side of  Route 78 and a packed parking lot gives an early indication that turnout is heavy for this special Republican Convention where committee members from Warren and Hunterdon counties will determine the party nominee for state senator in the 23rd District.

Both candidates, Assemblyman Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Twp.), the Hunterdon-based candidate - and Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) from Warren, work the coming throng in the hallway outside the auditorium, where voting will occur.

"The guy's a political animal," says a political insider, observing Doherty going for people's hands even before their gloves are off as they come through the big double doors and into the school.

And there's Karrow,

She's mobbed by committee people just before they go through the hallway doors.

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Republicans to fill Lance seat today

Today is Election Day in parts of Hunterdon and Warren counties, where members of the Republican County Committee from the 23rd legislative district will hold a special election convention to replace Leonard Lance in the State Senate.  Lance resigned from the Senate on January 3 to take his seat in Congress.

Two Republicans are seeking to replace Lance: four-term Assemblyman Michael Doherty, 45, a former Warren County Freeholder and West Point graduate; and Marcia Karrow, 49, a two-term Assemblywoman who has served as a Hunterdon County Freeholder and as Mayor of Raritan Township.

 Doherty is viewed as one of the most conservative members of the Legislature and has mulled bids for higher office in recent years, including an exploratory committee for the 2008 U.S. Senate nomination.  He was he only legislator to back Ron Paul for President in the last election.  Karrow, a graduate of Smith College, has masters degrees from the University of Michigan and CUNY.  She  is viewed as a moderate and has the backing of the Hunterdon County Republican organization and eight mayors from Warren County.

The winner will get sworn in to the Senate at their next session, now scheduled for February 23.  The Senate contest will trigger another special election convention to fill the soon-to-be vacant Assembly seat.

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Hackett gets five years from state judge, but can get paroled after six months

Former Assemblyman Mims Hackett was sentenced to five years in state prison after admitting that the filed fake expense reimbursements while serving as Mayor of Orange.  He has already been sentenced to nine months in federal prison after his guilty plea on corruption charges last year.  The state Judge ruled that he can serve the sentences concurrently and will be eligible for parole after serving six months if he is admitted to a supervised program that includes house arrest.

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Sybil Moses, retired Superior Court Judge, dies

Former Superior Court Judge Sybil Moses, the first woman to serve as an Assignment Judge in New Jersey, passed away today.  She was 69 and had breast cancer.

Moses retired in October 2008 after 21 years as a Superior Court Judge and seven as an Administrative Law Judge. Her husband is attorney Steve Moses, a longtime Democratic insider.

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Jackson confirmed as EPA administrator

Jackson confirmed as EPA administrator
EPA chief Lisa Jackson

The U.S. Senate has confirmed Lisa Jackson to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), according to a report by the Star-Ledger.

Jackson, 46, served as commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) under Gov. Jon Corzizne, and the governor immediately released a statement upon hearing of Jackson's confirmation.

“The American people have gained a tireless public servant and a tenacious guardian of the environment with the confirmation of Lisa Jackson as our nation’s EPA administrator," Corzine said. “During her tenure... Lisa set the highest professional standards in tackling issues both local and global in scope."

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Holt unveils local support

Freeholder Matthew Holt today unveiled endorsements of Republican elected officials from his hometown of Clinton Township. 

Former Mayor and veteran Councilman Robert Smith joined current Republican Council members Dan Shea, Rich Duffy, Todd Pender, and Martin Pendergast in their public support of Holt's Assembly Candidacy in the 23rd Legislative District.

Former Republican Council members Rick Christenson and Rosemary Pendergast also threw their support behind Holt.  

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The Back Room

Christie v. Astorino in Aspen

Dismissed by Republican Governors' Association (RGA) Chairman Chris Christie, New York Republican gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino plans to confront his tormentor tonight at a GOP fundraiser in Aspen.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 23rd

Between RGA gigs, Christie doesn't skip a beat bashing Trenton Dems at seaside LGI town hall LONG BEACH ISLAND – Gov. Chris Christie squeezed LBI between trips to IowaNew HampshireConnecticut and – tomorrow – Colorado – just long enough to puncture his favorite Trenton-based targets in front of a...

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Legislation needed to restore balance in election financing

By JEFF BRINDLE Much has been written about the magnitude of campaign spending by independent special interest groups.  But until now, there has been little discussion about the impact. During the 2012 Presidential and Congressional contests,... Read More >


 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... more »
(7-23-14) Rabner Opinion Keeps “Christie for President” Alive - Gov. Chris Christie’s fight to prevent same-sex marriage in New Jersey ended with Chief Justice Stuart Rabner.... more »
The Perry-Paul Debate is Healthy for the GOP – and for America  The foreign policy debate in the media between prospective GOP Presidential candidates Texas Governor Rick Perry and... 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 »

Quote of the Day

quote of the day

“We lived up to our end of the bargain. He didn’t live up to his end of the deal.” - Ed Connolly, president of the New Jersey Firemen’s Benevolent Association.

- The Bergen Record


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