Former Gloucester Twp. Councilman switches parties, will seek GOP nod for Assembly in District 4

Former Gloucester Twp. Councilman switches parties, will seek GOP nod for Assembly in District 4
Former Gloucester Township Councilman Eugene E.T. Lawrence will switch parties and run as a Republican for State Assembly in the 4th district.

Camden County Republicans have picked up a former Democrat to run for State Assembly in the 4th district.

At a rally tonight, the party plans to announce that former Gloucester Township Councilman Eugene E.T. Lawrence will switch parties and run as a Republican against incumbent Paul Moriarty (D-Washington Twp.) and whomever Democrats pick to replace outgoing Assemblywoman Sandra Love (D-Gloucester Township). Lawrence's candidacy has been kept under wraps by Camden County Republicans, but they hyped it as a "game changer" last week.

In a statement, Lawrence aimed squarely at Governor Corzine's budget proposals, criticizing him for eliminating the property tax deduction.

"The people of Gloucester Township and the 4th Legislative District are suffering today, and they are suffering because Jon Corzine has decided to try to balance his budget on the backs of middle class families," said the former Camden County Chamber of Commerce and NAACP leader.

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Again denied by policy committee, Calabrese fights on in Bergen

Bergen County Republican freeholder candidate Chris Calabrese said today that recent setbacks in his campaign will not stop him from running.

“I’m going to fight to the end,” he said.

Calabrese lost the Bergen County Republican Organization’s Policy Committee endorsement on Monday to Paramus Republican activist John Driscoll and Mahwah Councilman Robert Hermansen, who also beat him in a non-binding vote at last weekend’s Northeast Republican Organization convention (NERO).  

The tide started to turn against Calabrese, who started off this internal race as the frontrunner because he was the top vote-getting Republican freeholder candidate last year, after a flyer he sent to county committee members backfired, galvanizing influential party activist Ed Trawinski, a Fair Lawn councilman to work against him.

Calabrese, however, said that he was just trying to remind party insiders of how close he came last time around.

“All I wanted to show is I’m the proven vote getter.  I did very well last year, came within 2%, and I want to finish what I started,” he said.

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Rasmussen poll puts Christie ahead of Corzine by 15, Lonegan leads too

There’s more bad news for Gov. Corzine in a Rasmussen poll released this afternoon.  

The poll, commissioned by the television station My9, shows the Governor’s reelection prospects at their weakest so far, and comes on the heels of two recent independent polls that show Corzine trailing former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie by nine points.  

Christie  is 15 points ahead of Corzine in the Rasmussen poll, 49% to 34%,  in a head-to-head match up, while Christie’s Republican rival, Steve Lonegan, leads Corzine by eight points, 43% to 35%.  

Corzine’s approval ratings are low in the poll, with the largest number of respondents – 42% -- strongly disapproving of his job performance.  Twenty-four percent of respondents “somewhat disapprove” of Corzine, while  24% “somewhat approve” and eight percent “strongly approve.” 

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Street level Levine: governor should have proposed cutting state workers' jobs

Street level Levine: governor should have proposed cutting state workers' jobs
Mayor Brian Levine

FRANKLIN TWP. – There’s a woman at a town hall microphone and she’s mad.

“We need more cricket fields,” she cries, and she hardly appears pacified as the Franklin Town Council kicks around some answers before At-large Councilman Rajiv Prasad leans over and hands her his card and tells her, “I’m a cricketer.”

“Good,” she exclaims. “I need a cricketer.”

The exchange causes a man in a soccer jacket to come out of his chair and now he’s up at the microphone and telling Mayor Brian D. Levine and the council that cricket consumes an entire day to play.

“Cricket is a dominant sport,” he explains, not angry but forceful. “It takes an area and it dominates it for eight hours, and it is played eight or nine months each year.”

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Another gubernatorial poll due later today

Rasmussen Reports will release a new poll on the race for Governor of New Jersey this evening.  This morning, a new Quinnipiac University poll has Republican Christopher Christie leading Gov. Jon Corzine by nine percentage points.  Christie also has a nine point lead in a recent Fairleigh Dickinson University poll.

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Mason to formally enter Hoboken mayor's race Friday

Mason to formally enter Hoboken mayor's race Friday
Councilwoman Beth Mason

HOBOKEN - Councilwoman Beth Mason plans a formal, crack of dawn launch of her mayoral campaign Friday, which will include a rollout of her at-large council candidates: Anthony Pasquale, Raul Morales II and Vincent Addeo.

Following the 7 a.m. announcement at her campaign office on Washington Street, Mason and her supporters plan to go to City Hall where the candidate will file her petitions.

Mason is running against Councilman Peter Cammarano and Councilwoman Dawn Zimmer to succeed Mayor David Roberts.

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In potentially competitive 3rd District, Marchand wants a commitment from state Republicans

In potentially competitive 3rd District, Marchand wants a commitment from state Republicans

Former Cumberland County Surrogate Art Marchand said that Gov. Corzine’s budget address on Tuesday made it slightly more likely that he’ll run for assembly in the 3rd Legislative District. 

“I think his budget address only reinforces the information we’re getting from Trenton that it’s a disaster.  Blaming George Bush for it all is just not going to work anymore,” said Marchand.  “Democrats have been in charge for seven years.  It’s time for them to accept complete responsibility.  You don’t raise taxes in the middle of a recession – that’s economics 101.”  

Marchand lost his job as surrogate in November after a Democratic wave swept through Cumberland County, taking out the freeholder board’s last Republican member and a long-time incumbent sheriff.  But with Governor Corzine at the top of the ticket this year instead of Barack Obama, Marchand said that the district’s two assembly seats appear ripe for Republican takeover – at least if the GOP agrees to fund more than just a token challenge.    

Over the last three decades, the party makeup of the district’s legislators has mostly mirrored the party that has controlled Trenton, with the exception of former state Sen. Raymond Zane, a Democrat who switched parties at the end of his political career.  With Republicans growing confident about their gubernatorial prospects, some see potential coattails on former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie.

“My thought is that it’s a completely swing district.  Who has the majority in Trenton and who has the governor basically will have the 3rd District too,” said Marchand. 

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Holt will not run for assembly

Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt has decided to run for reelection rather than make a bid for the state assembly in the Republican primary.

“We had three good candidates, and we had a decision reached by those folks. I’m not going to question that decision. It is what it is.  You move on,” he said.  “I have a lot of things I’m working on at the county level and I really enjoy my job.”

Holt initially wanted to run for state senate in a special convention against Assembly members Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan) and Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) to fill the seat of newly elected U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton).  Karrow won that contest, but Doherty plans to challenge her again in the June primary, leaving his assembly seat open.  After dropping out before the state senate convention, Holt decided to run for Karrow’s old assembly seat, but came in third behind Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio and fellow Hunterdon County Freeholder Erik Peterson at a follow-up convention.

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The Back Room

Christie invades South Carolina

On his first visit to South Carolina as chairman of the Republican Governors Association, Gov. Chris Christie stayed in "moderate Charleston, in contrast to other potential GOP candidates who made early visits to conservatives elsewhere," according to an ABC News report.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest Sponsored by Auto Alliance: September 16th

Bergen County Executive's Race: Tedesco goes up on cable TV with introductory ad James Tedesco, Democratic candidate for Bergen County Executive, goes up on cable television Tuesday for the first time this season. (Pizarro/PolitickerNJ)       Stockton Poll: Belgard and MacArthur tied in CD3 In New Jersey’s key...

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Legislation needed for publicly financed gubernatorial elections

By JEFF BRINDLE It is critical that the Legislature soon enact a pending bill that would ensure the state’s Gubernatorial Public Financing Program is available in the event of a special election for governor.  Not only is there no current legal... Read More >


(9-10-14) Chief Justice Rabner Faces Funding Challenges as Top Court Administrator - Escalating legal fees for litigation is an unintended consequence of underfunding the Court System. ... more »
The Correct Foreign Policy – Neither Fortress America Nor Pax Americana      Last week marked the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War 2.  It started with the... 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

"[Lyndon] Johnson understood that so far as a man was a political animal (and therefore not searching for some private truth which might be independent of politics) he was then, if deprived of his properties, close to being a dead man." - Norman Mailer

- Miami and the Siege of Chicago


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