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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DiMaio supported by fellow Warren freeholder

Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio today won the official backing of fellow Freeholder Rick Gardner, as DiMaio pursues an Assembly seat in the 23rd Legislative District.

“It is with great pride that I support & endorse my fellow Freeholder John DiMaio in his run for the Assembly in the 23rd Legislative District,” said Gardner, a Franklin Township farmer. “The conservative roots and values of the citizens in the 23rd District are time-honored traditional values that have made this region one of the best places to live in New Jersey." 

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Murray tells chair he's mulling run for governor

Murray tells chair he's mulling run for governor

MOUNTAIN LAKES - Part of the crowd buzz last night at the Zeris Inn concerned the whereabouts of Morris County Freeholder James Murray, who evidently had his own reason for not being in attendance at Chris Christie's formal kickoff.

It's because Murray is himself mulling a bid for governor.

"He called me the day before yesterday and I asked him if he was going to Chris's event," said Morris County Republican Chairman John Sette.

The chairman recalled Murray telling him he was going to stay neutral and when Sette asked him why, Murray spilled it.

"He told me, 'I'm thinking about running for governor because I think I can appeal to Democrats and Independents,'" Sette said.

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Christie's urban agenda heavy on vision, not block by city block political organizing

Christie's urban agenda heavy on vision, not block by city block political organizing

MOUNTAIN LAKES – Chris Christie’s message of renewing New Jersey’s cities sparks a lone shout of enthusiasm in this mostly Caucasian crowd but ultimately produces little battle cry effect here at the Zeris Inn on Thursday night.

“I was born in Newark 46 years ago,” Christie explains. 

“I’m sorry,” comes the rejoinder of a man in the back of the banquet hall.

Christie the former U.S. Attorney says he is uniquely qualified to make the state’s urban areas safe, and vows as governor to entice businesses with tax incentives and invigorated business zones to move in to places like Newark.  

That commitment from the candidate rouses at least one real estate person in the crowd who off the record says New Jersey’s suburban experiment is essentially built-out and its service sector economy limited, and the only logical way the state can regain an edge is to revitalize its urban areas.

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The Back Room

Sources: Why Fox?

With the support of Gov. Chris Christie, Jamie Fox is on the fast track to get back to the Department of Transportation (DOT). The question is why?

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: September 18th

Guv prospects Fulop and Sweeney add voices to Silva, Stack and striking 1199 SEIU workers UNION CITY – They tried out their blue collar tough guy tonsils today in front of a purple-shirted crowd of striking healthcare workers – two of three as-yet-undeclared Democratic candidates for governor: Jersey City...

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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 >


(9-17-14) Viral Video Prompts Questionable NJ Municipal Ordinance -  Socrates said, “While I might disagree with what you say, I will defend to the death your right to say... 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

“We’re going to hold the line until hell freezes over, and when hell freezes over, we’re going to hold the line on ice skates." - Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-31), at yesterday's SEIU 1199 rally.

- PolitickerNJ


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