Karrow's decision does not put the brakes on Holt

Karrow's decision does not put the brakes on Holt
Likely opponents: Holt and Karrow at an event in 2007 (source: central.hcrhs.k12.nj.us)

Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt said today that Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow’s (R-Flemington) decision to run for the seat of outgoing state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) will not deter his own ambition.

Holt, who announced that he was setting up an exploratory committee last week, told PolitickerNJ.com today that he is likely to run for the seat as well.

“If anything, it energizes me even further,” said Holt. “Since the press release and my sort of formal announcement of my intent to move forward, I have just had an extremely large number of supporters both on a financial end as well as the working end of the campaign.”

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Doherty sees his conservative record as his ticket to the state senate

Doherty sees his conservative record as his ticket to the state senate
Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Township) speaks at a pro-life rally in 2004 (Source: njtrl.org)

It is still not clear exactly how many candidates are running to succeed state Sen. Leonard Lance, but battle lines are already being drawn on two fronts: geography and ideology.

Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township), 45, is going to campaign on the latter. He’s from Warren County, which initially puts him at a slight disadvantage in a county committee race, since it has about 40 fewer members than Hunterdon County, home of his opponent, Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington). But he’s one of the most conservative members of the legislature, and plans to use that to siphon off Hunterdon’s most staunchly conservative county committee men and women.

“I see it as a real bellwether of what type of Republican leadership we’re going to have,” said Doherty, who’s a patent lawyer by trade. “If you ask people across the state who are among the most conservative Republican legislators, I would be among the first or second people named. That’s going to enure to my benefit.”

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Karrow announces state senate bid

Karrow announces state senate bid
Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington)

Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) announced this morning that she will run for the state Senate seat in the 23rd Legislative District.

"I have been very effective in the Assembly, even while in the Republican minority. In plain and simple terms, I am running for the this seat because I believe that I can be even more effective in the Senate,” she said in a statement this morning. “My fiscal conservatism and my common-sense approach to problem solving are important skills upon which I have built my political career. Now, more than ever, I believe my ability to build relationships and reach across the aisle to find common ground, while maintaining my core commitment to Republic principles - smaller government and lower taxes -- is critical.”

Karrow’s decision to vie for the seat sets up what will almost certainly be a hotly contested race between her and Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Township), a conservative from neighboring Warren County.

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After running as a local Obama, Hawkins runs early into the hard edge of Orange

After running as a local Obama, Hawkins runs early into the hard edge of Orange
Eldridge Hawkins at the opening of Obama HQ in Newark, with Irvington Mayor Wayne Smith (background, left).

ORANGE – In the city a little over a year, young Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., ran as the Obama of Orange – a new messenger intent on change in the wake of another public man’s wreckage.

As he observed his older opponent on Election Day, Hawkins brazenly likened the campaign of At-Large Councilman Donald Page to a shopworn Hillary Clinton, and compared his own to that of the hard-charging, inspirational Barack Obama.

But more than five months into his term of office as mayor, Hawkins’s critics object to what they call the 29-year old executive’s early failure to deliver the city convincingly from the era of Mims Hackett, who’s soon to be serving time in a federal pen for corruption.

A proposed $57.2 million budget is up $3.6 million from last year’s, and residents face a significant tax increase. Meanwhile, even new furnishings at City Hall can’t camouflage an entrenched cast of old regime characters. 

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Quinnipiac poll shows Corzine leading Christie, narrowly

Democrats think today's Quinnipiac gubernatorial poll indicates that Gov. Jon Corzine is well on his way to being understood and embraced by the electorate after making several unpopular and tough, but necessary decisions.

Republicans see the poll as demonstrating lackluster support for the Corzine, considering he's spent a combined $100 million on his two previous statewide races, and early enthusiasm for U.S. Attorney Chris Christie's potential candidacy among those who have heard of him.

Meanwhile, non-partisan political analysts see the poll as a wash, with promising and troubling results for both Corzine and U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, who is viewed as a likely gubernatorial candidate.

Corzine leads Christie in the poll, 42% to 36%, although only 37% of voters think Corzine deserves to be reelected and his approval rating remains net negative. Christie remains a relative unknown, with only 30% of respondents knowing enough about him to form an opinion.

Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union), the Democratic State Chairman, said that's the number that caught his attention. Despite dozens of positive front page headlines about his indictments and convictions of prominent public officials since he was sworn in, 70% of voters still barely know anything about him.

On top of that, although Corzine still has a net negative approval rating, he's improved significantly since the last Quinnipiac poll in September.

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In Passaic, a game of GOP volleyball

The internal fight in the Passaic County Regular Republican Organization took an amusing turn today.

First, a splinter Republican group called GOP Strong -- which has been highly critical of Assemblyman and Passaic County Republican Chairman Scott Rumana (R-Wayne) -- issued a press release casting doubt on Rumana’s effectiveness and earnestness in his fight against Council on Affordable Housing (COAH) regulations.

Half an hour later, Rumana issued a press release announcing that he had been named “Legislator of the Year” by the Building Officials Association of New Jersey because of his opposition to the new COAH rules.

That drew a follow-up press release from GOP Strong, claiming that Rumana was touting the award as a “desperate attempt to demonstrate the he actually matters in Trenton,” and that the organization is “made up of a handful of bureaucrats who enforce onerous building codes in New Jersey.”

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Hipp leaves door open to Assembly run

Speculation persists in Republican circles that Rutherford Mayor John Hipp would make a good assembly candidate, but Hipp has not been privy to it.

In September, Hipp told PolitickerNJ that he would only consider running if party leaders asked him to. That hasn’t changed.

“I haven’t said no because obviously if I’m asked to help out the party I want to do everything I can,” he said.

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The Back Room

Names on the LD7 GOP bench

In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 29th

  Faced with violent crime wave, Baraka, Fulop and Torres forge three-city partnership JERSEY CITY – And then there were three. That’s what it looked like, at least, when a late-arriving and widely beaming Paterson Mayor Jose “Joey” Torres in cream-colored suit joined political allies Jersey City Mayor Steve...

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Op-Ed

The health of New Jersey's women is not Chris Christie's priority

By Linda Stender At his most recent town hall, Gov. Chris Christie accused his predecessors of "monkeying with the math" when it comes to their handling of our state's economy. But as the old saying goes, when the governor points a finger, he... 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

"And here was Christie — a tell-it-like-it-is, straight-talking, no-nonsense Jersey guy — telling about 60 members of the media what he really thought. 'Governor Branstad is a role model for me,' Christie gushed, referring to his 67-year-old counterpart from Iowa."

- The New York Times

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