All eighty seats in the New Jersey General Assembly are up next year, with Democrats in strong shape to keep their majority under a legislative map that creates relatively few competitive races.
Republicans feel that they have a good chance to go on the offensive this year, even if taking control of the Assembly, where Democrats have a 48-32 majority, is an unlikely prospect. Assembly Republican Executive Director Rick Wright thinks the gubernatorial candidacy of U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie, one of four Republicans actively exploring a statewide bid, would boost his party’s chances to pick up Assembly seats.
“It all depends on who our gubernatorial candidate is. I know there’s a lot of excitement out there about Chris Christie. If and when he makes his decision, that will help us in our recruiting. We have people out there sitting and saying I want to see what Chris Christie does,” Wright said. “A lot of county chairmen think we have a much better chance of success in gubernatorial and legislative races if Chris Christie is at the top of the ticket.”Read More >
So far, Assemblyman Mike Doherty (R-Washington) is the only announced candidate to succeed Congressman-elect Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) in the state Senate. But he’s already won the endorsement of the state’s major pro-life organization, New Jersey Right to Life.
The group’s executive director, Marie Tasy, lauded Doherty as a “principled leader on matters concerning the sanctity of human life,” noting that his voting record has been firmly pro-life and that as a Warren County freeholder he “led the effort” against publicly funding Planned Parenthood.
Former Tabernacle Committeeman Justin Murphy said today that he’s probably going to run for the Republican nomination in the 3rd Congressional District again in 2010.
“We’ve got to build a nice network and base. It’s a long time. A year from now we’re going to get serious about it,” said Murphy, who hopes to get the opportunity to take on Democratic Congressman-elect John Adler next time.
Murphy surprised many political observers with his strong performance in the Republican 3rd District Congressional primary in June, in which he ran as an anti-machine candidate. The race was thought to be neck-and-neck between Medford Mayor Chris Myers and Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly, while Murphy was considered by many to be an “also ran.” But when the votes were counted, Myers won with 12,694 to Kelly’s 6,531 and Murphy’s 6,494.Read More >
Asked whether he’ll endorse anyone to replace him in the state Senate, Congressman-elect Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) said that he would follow advice from his late father, former Senate President Wesley Lance.
“He said, ‘You cannot choose your successor in political life,’” said Lance. “I think I will remain neutral.”
At least one of Lance’s running mates, Assemblyman Michael Doherty, is running for the seat. If his other running mate, Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow, jumps in, it could be an intense battle (Multiple Republican sources say, however, that Karrow is having second thoughts about running).
“I think very highly of both of my running mates. I think we have worked well together. Both of my running mates have experience on freeholder boards – experience I did not have, and I want to speak highly of both of them,” he said.Read More >
BAYONNE – It was a bruising fight for Assemblyman Tony Chiappone (D-Bayonne), one he wanted badly to win, but his ally in last week’s mayoral election lost, and now Chiappone must look ahead to his own re-election bid next year and the grim prospect of running off the line.
Whether on or off, Chiappone makes it clear.
“I’m running,” he said.
The Jersey Journal’s Political Insider points out that Mark Smith’s defeat of Pat Conaghan on Election Day gives the Hudson County Democratic Organization (HCDO) the necessary leverage to dump Chiappone, who comes from that part of the 31st Legislative District composing a third of what is otherwise dominated by Jersey City.Read More >
Former baseball star Al Leiter said today that he will not likely run against Congressman-elect John Adler in 2010.
“I definitely have been curious enough to still be around the political scene… and my interest is there, while it’s stronger sometimes and weaker than others. So that’s why I don’t ever dismiss the idea of running someday. But I know I’m not ready now, and I’m almost certain that in 2010 I won’t be ready,” he said.
Some Republicans courted Leiter, a Toms River native who currently lives in Florida and works as a sports commentator, to run for in the 3rd Congressional District last year. But Leiter said at the time that he’d rather get some local experience as an elected official, either in New Jersey or Florida, before running for federal office.Read More >
Jersey City Mayor Jerramiah Healy, who backed Barack Obama for president when most other New Jersey politicos were supporting Hillary Clinton, thinks that his corporation counsel, Bill Matsikoudis, would make a good Regional EPA Administrator.
“I don’t know if the Obama Administration is interested in anybody for that position or for Billy, but he’s got a good background in environmentalism,” said Healy. He’s filed some suits on the city’s behalf against corporate polluters. He’s very knowledgeable, diligent and is a hard working. I certainly think he can fill that or anything else.”
Multiple sources say that Matsikoudis is interested in that position, although it remains to be seen if Healy has the Obama administration’s ear.Read More >
No real news out of Arkansas this evening as a local report documents Republican Governors Association Chairman Chris Christie stumping in Arkansas on behaf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson.Read More >
One night in Clifton: Pascrell town hall crystallizes New Jersey's side of Arab-Jewish divide CLIFTON – It was the typical crowd with black yarmulkes and leopard-patterned hijab sprinkled among uncovered bald heads – Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish – Spanish Flamenco-style hair pulled back and framed by loop earrings and at...
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By MICHAEL W. KLEIN In his weekly radio address on August 16, President Obama challenged colleges “to do their part to bring down costs” and lighten the tuition burden on students. The state colleges and universities in New Jersey have... Read More >
“Israelis don’t want peace more than the Palestinians, Palestinians don’t want peace more than the Israelis, but I do know one thing: Hamas is a terrorist organization.” - U.S. Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-9), Paterson.- PolitickerNJ
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