Duffy takes his name out of the mix for RSC chairman

Republican operative Mark Duffy took his name out of the running for Republican State Chairman today.

“I prefer to work on the frontlines of the campaign, and I have no desire for an elected position in the party,” said Duffy, 34, who managed former Rep. Dick Zimmer’s U.S. Senate run against incumbent Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park). 

Duffy’s name surfaced as a potential successor to current chair Tom Wilson, who may not seek another two year term.  But he said he hadn’t been told of the speculation. 

“It was news to me,” he said.

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Being Levine: Franklin mayor says he could help restore confidence in government

Being Levine: Franklin mayor says he could help restore confidence in government
Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine, who has won twice in a heavily Democratic town, is thinking about seeking the 2009 GOP gubernatorial nomination

Brian D. Levine doesn’t know if he broke any records in losses suffered when he ran for student council at Rutgers. But he retained his interest in politics after marrying and moving to Franklin Township and at the polls one June he noted that no one from his party had filed to run for Republican County Committeeman.

So he wrote himself in, and won. 

 “You could say I squeaked it out because I won by one vote, or I won by a landslide because I won by 100 percent,” says Levine. “That proves you can spin the numbers.”

In the 1997 race for city council, Levine faced a formidable 16-year incumbent. He prevailed in a close election, triggering what became for him a pattern of victories, and spawning two back-to-back wins in mayoral races, in 2004 and 2007.

Now Levine, 50, a certified public accountant who is married with two daughters, is considering a run for governor, and believes his record as a fiscally conservative Republican in a Democratic town gives him particularly well-suited skills to serve as New Jersey’s chief executive.

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Noto says she'll run again

Noto says she'll run again
Cumberland County Clerk Gloria Noto


For the moment, Cumberland County Clerk Gloria Noto is joined by three other county-wide Republican elected officials. In January, she will be alone.

Democrats won complete control of the freeholder board this month, 7-0, and knocked out two Republican constitutional officers: Sheriff Michael Barruzza and Surrogate Arthur Marchand. That has left Noto, who’s up for reelection next year after 14 years in office, as the last Republican county-wide election official.

“I don’t have to tell you I’m broken hearted. It’s like losing part of your family,” said Noto.

Noto knows there’s a target on her back – that Cumberland Democratic Chairman Lou Magazzu, who’s also the freeholder director, has his sights set on her. But she said she will definitely run again.

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Bell assumes office in Central Ward, delivers message to Booker

Taking a shot at the campaign run against him by the Laborers and the allies of Mayor Cory Booker, Central Ward Councilman Charles Bell at his swearing-on ceremony in City Hall last night noted gratefully that money and turkeys don’t vote.

The crack was a reference to Eddie Osborne campaign’s massive GOTV operation, which included the coordinated distribution to of hundreds of early Thanksgiving turkeys.

Officially assuming the seat left occupied by former Central Ward Councilwoman Dana Rone, Bell seized the opportunity to instruct the mayor, who was not in attendance.

The new councilman disapproved of the tone of the campaign, expressed in hand and pole signs with the words: “Charles Bell equals corruption and waste.”

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Kuhl 'assumes' someone from Hunterdon will seek Lance’s seat

Kuhl 'assumes' someone from Hunterdon will seek Lance’s seat
Hunterdon GOP Chairman Henry Kuhl "assumes" his county will field a candidate for Leonard Lance's State Senate seat

While Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington Township) is already pounding the pavement in an effort to succeed Congressman-elect Leonard Lance in the state Senate, no definite candidate from Lance’s native Hunterdon County has emerged to compete for the seat yet.

But long-time Hunterdon County Republican Chairman Henry Kuhl thinks there will be one.

“I would assume that that would happen,” he said.

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Pallone demands that Christie submit schedule, and Pascrell still wants monitor answers

U.S. representatives Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) and Bill Pascrell (D-Paterson) teamed up to craft legislation to curtail the power of U.S. attorneys in appointing federal monitors, so it was no surprise when they responded today to Christie’s announcement that he would resign at the end of this month.

The congressmen separately jabbed at the departing U.S. Attorney, with Pallone augmenting Pascrell’s chief complaint with his own worry about what he cited as Christie’s politicization of his office. 

"I remain concerned that Christie has engaged in improper political activities in recent months while still serving as the U.S. Attorney,” said Pallone. “Numerous press reports have highlighted aggressive political outreach by Christie and his political lieutenants in order to develop a campaign infrastructure for a possible run for governor. In an effort to allay these concerns, I hope Christie agrees to release his private and public schedules for the last two years so that the public can make its own judgment regarding any possible political activity by the U.S. Attorney.”

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Wilson not certain whether he’ll stay on as GOP State Chairman after June

State Sen. Joe Pennacchio’s (R-Montville) call for Republican State Chairman Tom Wilson to resign will not likely be answered in the affirmative, but whether Wilson will serve another two-year term is uncertain.

After Wilson’s term expires in June, tradition dictates that the Republican gubernatorial nominee gets to pick the next chairman. That choice will be ratified by the 42-member Republican State Committee, which will likely accede to the nominee’s pick.

“We have a tradition in the Republican Party that the successful gubernatorial nominee is the one who gets to decide who his or her state chair will be,” said Wilson, who said he did not want to respond to Pennacchio’s press release. “I expect that not to be any different. If there’s a nominee who wants to ask me if I’m interested in staying, that will be a discussion between that nominee and I.”

However, multiple Republican sources say that Wilson has never intended to seek another term as state chairman. In fact, there was talk of him stepping down before the primary, although he said today that he will serve until at least June.

Wilson, for his part, said that his decision in June will depend on “who that nominee is and what kind of vision they have going forward.”

"I will defer completely to the nominee, and if that person wants someone different that’s what they’re entitled to. If they want me to stick around for some period of time, we’ll have a discussion about that.”


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The Back Room

Conservative group slams Christie in TV ad

As Gov. Chris Christie's heads to New Hampshire tomorrow, a conservative group wants to welcome him with a television commercial critical of his record on judicial nominations.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 30th

  With looming deadline on bail reform, Christie calls Legislature into special session TRENTON - Gov. Chris Christie is calling the legislature into special session Thursday to address recent bail reform legislation before a looming deadline next week, according to a letter from the governor’s office today. (Brush/PolitickerNJ)...

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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 >


(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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

"Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto, a Hudson County Democrat, is balking. He claimed Tuesday that members of his caucus are divided over the measure and that his house is in no real rush – besides, even if enacted this year, the reforms would not take effect until 2017, he said. And with the growing belief that Christie could skip town to run for president, some Democrats are not eager to give him another talking point for his résumé. Christie’s plans to stump for Republican candidates in New Hampshire later Thursday only fuel that suspicion." - columnist Charles Stile

- The Bergen Record


Who's right on the bail reform special session?:


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