Stender says Lance's moderate positions on social issues made him a tougher opponent than Ferguson

Stender says Lance's moderate positions on social issues made him a tougher opponent than Ferguson

Anyone who watched NJN on election night witnessed it: Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood), who had been the favorite in the 7th District House race, choking back tears as she attempted to explain -- and no doubt understand -- why she lost to state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington).

It was a particularly bruising moment for Stender, who two years earlier had come within one point of ousting incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-Warren Twp).

"It was really a crushing defeat for me," Stender said today.

It was also a huge political comeback for Lance, who was seen by fellow Republicans during his time as Senate Minority Leader as not partisan or aggressive enough. Facing a potential challenge for that post last year by state Sen. Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), Lance withdrew to become the ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee.

Six weeks after her loss, Stender is making the best of it, relishing her first holiday season in the last two election cycles during which she does not have to focus on raising money.

Today, Stender sought to dispel the notion that her campaign failed in large part because of internal divisions and pressure from outside groups to take on out-of-state staff and focus on less pertinent issues like birth control.

"That stuff is nonsense. It's concocting drama in the aftermath," said Stender, referring to contentions that EMILY's List officials had pressured her to put Washington, DC-based staffers in control of the campaign.

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Stender plans to run for re-election to Assembly seat

Stender plans to run for re-election to Assembly seat
Assemblywoman Linda Stender says she has her party's support to seek another term

Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) said today that she intends to run for re-election to the assembly in 2009.

“My immediate plan is to seek another term to the legislature, and I have great support from the state chair, my county chair, and I’ve got very good working relationships with my delegation members,” she said. “There’s a lot of important work to be done, we’re in a tough time in our economy and state and I’ll be looking forward to taking on those challenges.”

An Inside Edge report from just before the election said that a Union County Democratic official suggested that the party would try to get Stender to step aside if she lost the House race. But Stender said today that she has not felt any pressure to leave her seat.

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Corzine makes staff moves

Corzine makes staff moves
Gov. Jon Corzine picked Edward McBride as his new Chief of Staff to replace Lisa Jackson, who will become the new EPA Administrator.

Governor Jon Corzine today announced a series of staff changes triggered by the appointment of Lisa Jackson as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Edward McBride was named Chief of Staff and William Castner will replace McBride as Chief Counsel.

Corzine also picked Diane Legreide, a former Casino Control Commissioner and state Motor Vehicles Director, as his new Deputy Chief of Staff.  She will replace Maggie Moran, who is expected to leave in a few weeks to run the Governor’s re-election campaign.  Albert Alvarez, who has served as Cabinet Liaison, will also serve as Deputy Chief of Staff.

Jaimee Gilmartin, the Governor’s Director of Appointments, has been promoted to Director of Operations.  She will replace Jose Lozano, who will move to the Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness.  Josh Zeitz, who was the Democratic candidate for Congress against U.S. Rep. Christopher Smith this year, is joining Corzine’s staff as a Senior Policy Advisor.

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Durkin on Durkin

Durkin on Durkin
Ray Durkin, right, with Assemblyman Tom Giblin (D-Montclair): both former State Democratic Party chairmen.

The following text is reprinted courtesy of Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, who delivered these remarks Saturday to introduce his father, Ray Durkin, at the Annual Christmas Award Luncheon by the St. Patrick's Guard of Honor of New Jersey. A former State Democratic Party Chairman, Ray Durkin received the Guard of Honor's "Irishman of the Year" award.

It is an honor to have this opportunity to introduce my father...my best friend. 

My father was born and raised in Vailsburg. The "Burg" as he would call it. And growing up I would hear stories of this fantasy neigborhood come to life.

When I was a little boy my father took me to the funeral of a legendary Irish politician. The funeral was at Sacred Heart Church in Vailsburg on South Orange Avenue. As we were sitting in the pew the priest rose to eulogize this man. He pointed down and said there lies a great politician and an honest man. I tugged on my father's suit jacket looked up at him and said, "how can they fit two people in such a small coffin?"

I don't want to talk about Ray Durkin as Politician. I would like to talk about Ray Durkin as father. My father has 5 children who idolize and love him. And growing up in our household my parents had different jobs around the house.

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Obama picks Jackson as EPA Administrator

Obama picks Jackson as EPA Administrator
Credit: Getty Images
President-elect Barack Obama today picked Lisa Jackson, the Chief of Staff to Gov. Jon Corzine, as the Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

President-elect Barack Obama this afternoon formally introduced his environmental team, which includes New Jerseyan Lisa Jackson as director of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

In front of a press corps eager to talk about the phone call flubs of Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who’s facing federal corruption charges for trying to sell Obama’s U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder, Obama celebrated Jackson’s “lifetime in public service.”

 

“She helped make her state a leader in fighting global warming and reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said the president-elect. “She shares my commitment to protecting our air, water and abundant natural resources.”

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Levine issues bullet points for his economic recovery plan

Already registered with the Election Law Enforcement Commission (ELEC) to run for governor, Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine today unveiled a portion of his economic plan, essentially a macro model based on some of the things he’s done at the local level.  

The Republican’s plan focuses on growing a manufacturing economy, eliminating the 2.5 percent tax on new business construction, incentivizing jobs growth through loan guarantees and tax credits to build business and give priorities to New Jersey college graduates, and using federal assistance to obtain and develop foreclosed properties as affordable housing.

“The U.S. and New Jersey have been losing manufacturing jobs but the town in which I am mayor, Franklin, has been growing manufacturing and warehouse jobs,” said Levine.

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The Irish honor one of their own: former Democratic Party Chairman Ray Durkin

The Irish honor one of their own: former Democratic Party Chairman Ray Durkin
Fomer New Jersey and Essex County Democratic Party Chairman Ray Durkin, and his son, Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin

At Mayfair Farms Restaurant in West Orange on Saturday, the St. Patrick’s Guard of Honor of New Jersey hailed Ray Durkin, or the chairman, as they call him here in a nod of respect to his many years of service to the Democratic Party. 

Full-blooded and hybrid and old and new country Irish fathers and their sons - Giblin, Byrne, Stack, Barrett, McCarthy, Baroni, Mac Donald, O’Toole and Codey – for one afternoon absorbed any and all of New Jersey’s other ethnic groups into the arms of Durkin’s Irish-America.  

Durkin, who led the Essex County Democratic Organization from 1980 to 1992 in addition to serving as chair of the state party from 1985 to 1989, was the 68th St. Patrick’s Guard of Honor on a list going back to 1940 that includes President John F. Kennedy, Justice William J. Brennan, Jr., and governors Richard J. Hughes, Brendan Byrne and Richard Codey.  

In accepting the award, the former Newark City Firefighter and head of the West Ward Young Democrats who has been lowkey politically over the course of the past 12 years, said he was most proud of his wife and five sons, including Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin, who introduced his father on Saturday.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

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Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... Read More >

Contributors

 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

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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