DiMaio gathers home county support

DiMaio gathers home county support
Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio

UPDATED 

Humbled, in his words, by the support of mayors from his home county as he pursues a 23rd District Assembly seat in the lead-up to a Feb. 21 special election, Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio today announced the names of those 16 Warren mayors who back him.

“This overwhelming show of support I am receiving is a testament to my unwavering support of municipal government,” DiMaio said.  “As Assemblyman, I will bring that same vigor as I seek to return more authority to the local level of government.

“Whether it is the rural nature of a community like Blairstown, the suburban character of a community like Greenwich, or the Main Street charm of a community like Hackettstown, I have proven that I can represent the concerns of each and every one of my constituents,” added the county freeholder, a contractor by trade.”  

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Bauer gets Covenant House post

Bauer gets Covenant House post

Former New Jersey Commerce Secretary Virginia Bauer has been named Senior Vice President at Covenant House, the largest privately funded agency in the Americas helping homeless kids, providing 24/7 crisis care and ongoing support at 21 facilities. 

Bauer, a Commissioner of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, gained national prominence as an activist on behalf of families of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attack.  He husband, David, was killed at the World Trade Center.

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After talk with Diaz, Balut plans to give up governor's race; vows to back Christie

After talk with Diaz, Balut plans to give up governor's race; vows to back Christie
Perth Amboy Councilman Ken Balut says he won't challenge Jon Corzine in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, and expects to back Republican Chris Christie for Governor.

No devotee of Gov. Jon Corzine, freshman Perth Amboy Councilman Ken Balut nevertheless says he doesn't get the sense there's any Democratic Party exodus in his direction, and therefore plans to end his campaign for governor. 

His decision comes after Perth Amboy Mayor Wilda Diaz advised him to rethink his plan, and a day after political consultant James Devine sent out an email declaring Balut's intention to run a scrappy, anti-establishment campaign against Corzine. 

An entrenched opponent of Democratic State Committee Chairman Joseph Cryan and a critic of Corzine's, Devine advised Balut to get in the statewide primary, and as of Sunday remained convinced the councilman would remain steadfast in his dedication to a blue collar run for governor. 

"He's exploring a run in the primary," Devine told PolitickerNJ.com. "He's laying the groundwork but he hasn't filed the paperwork. He's running." 

But following a Thursday lunch meeting with Diaz at the Barge on Perth Amboy's waterfront in which the mayor asked Balut to join her in focusing on the city rather than creating a distraction with a quixotic run for higher office, Balut admitted she had a point.

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Karrow wins Senate seat; calls for unity as Doherty vows to fight her in primary

Karrow wins Senate seat; calls for unity as Doherty vows to fight her in primary
Senator-elect Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan) won a special election convention today with 58% of the vote. She'll replace Leonard Lance, who was elected to Congress.

CLINTON - Running as a homegrown conservative who knows the difference between hay and straw, Assemblywoman Marcia A. Karrow of Raritan Twp. prevailed here over Assemblyman Michael Doherty of Washington Twp. in the special 23rd District convention, 195 to 143 to votes. 

Despite what most observers conceded was a sizeable victory in this rural western legislative district and Karrow's from-the-podium call for unity in a gubernatorial election year, Doherty said he intends to fight on and face the senator-designate in the June Republican Party primary.

"I would hope he would abide by the voice of the people in the district," Karrow told reporters moments after her victory. "I won by 25%, and we need to have unity in the state. The Democrats are very well organized. We need to focus on the governor's race. We need to focus on defeating Jon Corzine."

But Doherty said he's dug in to claim the senate seat U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton) gave up last year when he won his 7th District Congressional race.

Although admittedly surprised by the results of this convention, Doherty took a grassroots view of the situation and said he likes his chances in a head-to-head with Karrow away from the halls of party power. 

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Voting underway now in Clinton in a larger context as Lonegan makes an appearance

Voting underway now in Clinton in a larger context as Lonegan makes an appearance
Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan

CLINTON - Now a long line of people moves toward the stage to vote, 184 committee people from Hunterdon and 160 from Warren, according to unconfirmed joint committee sources.

"I'm glad they decided to do this professionally with voting machines, taking a page from Dale Florio over there in Somerset County," says Hunterdon County Freeholder William Mennen.

Just before the crowd breaks to vote, there are unmistakable implications of stagecraft, as former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan can be seen lingering on one side of the room, the anti-establishment Republican candidate for governor, balancing out the organizational presence on the other side of GOP operative Mark Duffy and former U.S. Senate candidate Dick Zimmer.

"I'm here backing Doherty," says Lonegan. "Marcia's good, but Mike has a terrific record. He's backed me in the past, and now I'm backing him."

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Karrow presents herself as rural and local

Karrow presents herself as rural and local
Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Twp.)

CLINTON – Her father’s struggles in the Depression shaped Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow’s (R-Raritan Twp.) conservatism, she tells the crowd of Warren and Hunterdon County county committee people. 

Unlike her opponent, Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.), Karrow, 49, grew up here in the 23rd District, daughter of a local public official, who knows about barn building and bringing in the hay. She goes hardcore local in an emotional speech.

“Those of you who were born here know about taking care of one another,” she says. “My passion as a public servant comes from that. You’re my passion.”

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Doherty presents himself as the fiscal and social conservative

Doherty presents himself as the fiscal and social conservative
Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.)

CLINTON – His name’s in and Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) strides across the stage in front of the burgundy curtain, a 45-year old retired Army captain, 6 ft. 2 and ramrod at the podium now, telling the crowd he wants government out of people’s lives and out of their wallets. 

To win today, Doherty will need to prove he did the political legwork in Hunterdon County, which has about 40 more county committee seats than Doherty’s Warren County.  His allies say he has them, thanks to his vanguard role as a movement conservative, and it doesn't take long for the boom to come into his voice as he tries to prove his viability. 

“I’ve run in a lot of hard primaries, ladies and gentlemen, but I’m the senior guy for a reason,” Doherty cries. “Voters are pretty smart. They know who the Reagan conservative is. I’m always been the top voter, ladies and gentlemen, in Hunterdon and Warren counties."

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The Back Room

The New York Times is Christie's lap dog, says Hennelly

Veteran New Jersey reporter Robert Hennelly has a column today in Salon in which he bashes the New York Times for glosing over the "icon of cronyism" in its Christie coverage.

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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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Op-Ed

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 >

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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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