Levine to announce Governor's bid today

Levine to announce Governor's bid today

PRINCETON - Running a campaign with a fixed idea of what government does best and what the private sector does best, Franklin Twp. Mayor Brian D. Levine plans on Wednesday afternoon to formally enter the Republican Primary for governor with a kickoff at the Quality Inn in his hometown.

"As Republicans we have to remember our basic philosophy, which is smaller and more efficient government," Levine told PolitickerNJ.com as he made his way to a candidates' forum at the Hyatt Regency sponsored by the Republican county chair people.

"The basic idea is how do we run a government, not whether someone is or is not for stem cell research," he said. "We can debate those issues and should, of course, but small and efficient government is the starting point."

A CPA by trade and grassroots candidate who won election and re-election in Democratically-controlled Franklin, Levine says he’s used to going door-to-door and generating old fashioned face-to-face political support. 

Currently serving his second term in this Somerset County town of 60,000 residents, Levine, 50, became mayor in a 2003 upset election. A Republican where registered Democrats have the numbers, he put an exclamation point on his local victory when he won re-election in 2007.

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Republican gubernatorial candidates cross paths at GOP chairmen's event in Princeton

Republican gubernatorial candidates cross paths at GOP chairmen's event in Princeton
Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., (R-Union), left; and state Sen. Kevin O'Toole, GOP chairman of Essex County and chair of the GOP chairs.

PRINCETON – It didn’t look like a scene of devastation – or of a coming battle.

In the swank lobby of the Hyatt Regency, water tumbled over rocks and splashed into a pool, where Koi fish gaped up at a swiftly striding figure heading toward a crew of young, BlackBerry-thumbing operatives at the far end of a long, carpeted corridor.

On his way to the Republican Party chairmen’s dinner, Chris Christie took several questions before an aide steered him toward his destination: a room in which 15 of the party’s 21 chair people and party leaders waited to assess the merits of the former U.S. Attorney and three other Republican candidates for governor a month in front of the first county convention in Union.

Like a lot of his colleagues, Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore personally thinks Christie gives his party the best shot at rebirth.

“I will be endorsing Chris Christie,” he said, against the nagging back story of former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, who for months has aggressively organized a grassroots effort in the likely event he’s unable to scale the walls of the establishment at a majority of the party’s nominating conventions.

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In Plainfield, Mapp gets in the game against Mayor Robinson-Briggs

In Plainfield, Mapp gets in the game against Mayor Robinson-Briggs
Councilman Adrian Mapp

PLAINFIELD - Pledging transparency in government, better city services and better advocacy for residents, Ward Three Councilman Adrian Mapp today formally announced his intention to challenge one-term Mayor Sharon Robinson-Briggs.

A former two-term member of the Plainfield City Council and former Union County Freeholder, Mapp won re-election to the council last year on a ticket with Annie McWIlliams, daughter of the late former Mayor Al McWilliams, whom Robinson-Briggs defeated four years ago.

"I had planned as far back as 2007 on running for Mayor," said Mapp, "but put that thought on the back burner after I was approached by residents about running for the Ward 3 seat. Folks were concerned that with the issues the country and the City were facing, a more experienced and pro-active presence was needed from the Third Ward."

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Doherty doubles down on commitment to senate run; Kean offers support to Karrow

Doherty doubles down on commitment to senate run; Kean offers support to Karrow
Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.)


TRENTON - Flattening the back chatter out there that he might return to his Assembly seat in the aftermath of Saturday's convention, where he lost to State Sen.-elect Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Twp.), Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) said he's running in the Republican Primary --"put it in stone."

"I'd rather die than not run in that primary," said Doherty, doubling down on a quote over the weekend that wild horses couldn't keep him from an off the line challenge of Karrow.

"This is going to be a battle between establishment RINOS (Republicans in name only) and conservative true believers," Doherty told PolitickerNJ.com.

Despite a disappointing showing Saturday, Doherty said he means to activate his conservative pro-life base and remains confident that based on past victories over her, he can defeat Karrow.

"As long as RINOs keep throwing me under the bus, they give me no option but to run against them," said the veteran assemblyman, who ran to Karrow's right in their matchup on Saturday, and who means to run to her right in the June primary. 

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Christie endorsed by Republican he prosecuted

A Republican leader who was prosecuted five years ago by Christopher Christie has now endorsed the former U.S. Attorney for Governor.

“I think Chris Christie is the right direction for the party go in right now. I am looking forward to working with people who really want to work to get all Republicans moving in a positive direction and  who are willing to commit to making Republicans winners again,” said Peter Murphy, a former Passaic County Republican Party Chairman who now serves as the Totowa GOP Muncipal Chairman.

A few weeks ago, Christie declined an invitation to attend a dinner last night hosted by Murphy. Murphy and Michael Mecca, a former Freeholder and County Chairman, have organized a group that opposes the leadership of the incumbent Chairman, Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R-Wayne).

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Bramnick to throw Saturday fundraising bash for Christie

Bramnick to throw Saturday fundraising bash for Christie
Former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie (with Scotch Plains Mayor Nancy Malool) at a GOP mixer earlier this month.

In what GOP sources say is the first major gubernatorial fundraiser for former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie, Assembly Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) will host a $3,400-a-head dinner at his Westfield home for the Republican frontrunner for governor this Saturday.

Sources say both Christie and his political confidante, Bill Palatucci, will be in attendance at an event sources say has already pulled in $50,000 for Christie.

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Merkt would take federal aid and create business tax cuts

Merkt would take federal aid and create business tax cuts
Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), left, and campaign manager Chris Venis

If New Jersey receives close to $4 billion in federal stimulus money over two years as suggested by Gov. Jon Corzine, Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham) says the money ought to go to plugging the budget so the state can administer business and corporate tax cuts.

The last thing the underdog candidate for governor wants to see is the spawn of more government programs enabled by access to dollars provided by the administration of President Barack Obama.

“The Democrats talk about using the federal stimulus money for public works projects, but I don’t have any faith in public works projects,” said Merkt, who attended the 23rd District special convention on Saturday as part of a schedule of GOP events this weekend.

“If we’re going to have recovery in New Jersey, we need to have private sector jobs and tax cuts for the business community,” he added.

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: October 2nd

Kean, Webber join Pennacchio at patriotism-charged Morris County fundraiser WHIPPANY - Joe Pennacchio planned on talking about New Jersey politics, the usual "Trenton stuff", at his annual Republican fundraiser tonight -- but then he asked his wife for advice. (Brush/PolitickerNJ) http://www.politickernj.com/83166/kean-webber-join-pennacchio-patriotism-charged-morris-county-fundraiser      Belgard slams MacArthur's pay equity positions; compares them...

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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 >


(10-1-14) Mayor Fulop’s Working Family Rebellion Spreads - What began as a commitment between Mayor Steve Fulop and the people of Jersey City is fast becoming a movement spreading... more »
In tribute to John Sheridan, a good and great man     I first learned late last night from television news that John P. Sheridan, Jr. and his wife, Joyce had... more »
(Trenton, NJ) --  On September 23, 2015 I shall dig this up and eat whatever crow I've got coming, but in the meantime only a listicle... 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

"Our future Senate President someday. We're going to keep banging away at that, Tom." - Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26), referring to Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21).

- PolitickerNJ


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