Murray still mulling run for governor

Murray still mulling run for governor
Freeholder Jim Murray

Morris County Freeholder Jim Murray today confirmed to that he is considering a Republican Primary run for governor.

“We need to shake things up in Trenton and do something to lower taxes,” said the first term freeholder, a 70-year old retired municipal engineer who two years ago unseated John Inglesino, a confidante of Chris Christie, now the GOP’s frontrunner for governor.  

“We need to prioritize the taxpayers. I’m concerned about that,” Murray said. “There are also other things. New Jersey has the highest number of state mandates. There are a lot of environmental regulations. We should look at that. We really need to stimulate the private sector of the economy. I really am considering this.”

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Donald Wagner, served as Gloucester Freeholder, Surrogate, dies at 91

Donald Wagner, who spent 38 years in public office as an official in Gloucester County, passed away on January 10.  He was 91.  After serving four terms on the West Deptford Board of Education, he was elected to the Board of Freeholders in 1971, running on the Democratic ticket with Raymond Zane.  He was re-elected in 1974, 1977 and 1980.  Wagner spent seven years as Freeholder Director.

When Donald Stewart decided not to seek re-election to the sixth term in the State Assembly in 1981, Wagner mulled an Assembly bid.  Democrats instead backed Thomas Pankok, a Salem County Freeholder.   He was elected Gloucester County Surrogate in 1982, and was re-elected in 1987 and 1992.  

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Andrews hints at north country presence

Andrews hints at north country presence
U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights)

CAMDEN - Nearly a year after his crash and burn run for U.S. Senate, U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) may still possess statewide fever, especially if a comment he made this weekend to proves to have deeper resonance in an unfolding campaign cycle.

"You'll be seeing me up north again soon," said Andrews, who last year made numerous forays into Bayonne, Newark, Woodbridge and Jersey City in an unsuccessful attempt to take down incumbent U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park) in the Democratic Primary.

The congressman attended Saturday's campaign kickoff of longtime friend and ally, state Sen. Dana Redd (D-Camden), who is running for Camden mayor.

For months prior to her decision to go after the mayor's job, Redd was many political insiders' pick as a lieutenant governor candidate on a ticket with Gov. Jon Corzine.

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Morning News Digest: February 9, 2009

Hambel wins Sussex post

Former Sparta Mayor Ailish Hambel was elected Sussex County Republican Chairman today, succeeding Richard Zeoli.  Zeoli resigned on February 1 to seek the GOP nomination for Freeholder.

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Redd launches mayoral campaign with well wishes - but not formal support - of Faison

Redd launches mayoral campaign with well wishes - but not formal support - of Faison
Mayoral candidate/state Sen. Dana Redd (D-Camden)

CAMDEN - Ensconsed in the trappings of Democratic Party power, hometown hero state Sen. Dana Redd (D-Camden), whose parents were the victims of a double homicide when she was eight years old, today announced her candidacy for mayor with a promise to bring a crime-beleagured city back to waterfront glory. 

"Let's put an end to the petty, counter-productive bickering, no more fighting, ward against ward, black against Hispanic. I'm declaring it today, it is over," said Redd in an atmosphere still energized by President Barack Obama's Jan. 20th swearing-in and his call for national unity.  

The 40-year old Camden native entered the race with the blessing if not official backing of incumbent Mayor Gwendolyn Faison, 82, who stood briefly onstage and appeared to be just bucked up enough to make some “Camden first” comments in the face of party leaders who respectfully acknowledged Faison’s service before firmly throwing whatever heft they have behind rising star Redd. 

"I'm the mayor that made Camden work," an almost defiant-sounding Faison said. "I'm here today because the city is bigger than me. My heart is with Camden. ...I am here to support anyone who will help the City of Camden. That is my statement."

She said she had intended to declare her intentions regarding her political future at a Feb. 23rd press conference, and gently made it known that Redd's presser today pre-empted her own plans somewhat.

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Sources: Fisher will be new Agriculture Secretary

Sources: Fisher will be new Agriculture Secretary
Sources say that Assemblyman Douglas Fisher (D-Bridgeton) will be the state's new Secretary of Agriculture.

Assemblyman Douglas H. Fisher (D-Brigdeton) is expected to be nominated on Monday as New Jersey's new Secretary of Agriculture.  Sources say that the Chairman of the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee is the choice of the state Board of Agriculture to replace Charles Kuperus, who stepped down in December at the request of the board.

If Fisher's appointment is approved by Gov. Jon Corzine, the District 3 Democratic County Committee will hold a special election convention to fill his Assembly seat.  Senate Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney (D-West Deptford), Fisher's running mate, declined to say who was being considered for the seat.

"There are some who are interested, but until we hear it from Doug, I’m not going to venture anyone’s name," Sweeney told

Fisher, 61, was elected to the State Assembly in 2001 after serving nine years on the Cumberland County Board of Freeholders and three years as a Bridgeton City Councilman.  A former supermarket owner, he has been a real estate agent since 2000.

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GOP considers candidate options for race against Albano, Milam

With limited opportunities to pick up State Assembly seats in November, Republicans are expected to pour extensive resources into the state's southernmost tip - a traditionally Republican area currently represented by three Democrats. "You look at the map, and District 1 is definitely their number one priority," said Monmouth University pollster and political science professor Patrick Murray.  "It's going to be tough. Cape May is a huge Republican County.  It's going to be a year where we're not going to have a high turnout.  You're going to get the voters who vote every year, and they're going to be Republicans down there." The first district is made up of Cape May County, a large part of Cumberland County and a small part of southern Atlantic County. Republicans see the district's total Democratic control as a fluke brought about by state Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D-Dennis), the most conservative Democrat in the Senate whose coattails in 2007 are credited with helping his two assembly running mates, Nelson Albano (D-Vineland) and Matt Milam (D-Vineland) across the finish line. This time, Van Drew isn't on the ballot.  Instead, Albano, who's in his second term, and Milam, a freshman - both from Cumberland County -- are below an unpopular Democratic governor and are likely to face at least one Republican candidate who comes from Cape May County - a Republican stronghold that dominates the district. Dennis Township Attorney Michael Donohue, who came up about 2,000 votes short of Milam in 2007, plans to run again, and will likely have the support of Republican leaders. Upper Township Committeeman Frank Conrad, who owns three small businesses in the district, has submitted a letter of intent to run, but he's been pretty quiet about it

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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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