Going all out in Monmouth County

In Monmouth County, every town comes intriguingly into play on some level, several more critically than others.

Republicans have owned the Freeholder Board for over 20 years, but in the last two elections Democrats picked up two seats to bring them to within one of county control.

A profusion of newly registered Democratic voters have boosted the party’s confidence heading into Nov. 4th, and now Democrats Amy Mallet and Glenn Mason are ready for that 11th hour jolt of cash from the Democratic State Committee.

State Party Chairman Joseph Cryan wants to win here.

He wants it more than he would like to pick up additional warm bodies in the Assembly next year, where his party’s already built a comfortable majority.

A victory by either Mallet or Mason would make a Democratic Party statement.  But neither is a name candidate running against incumbent Freeholder Director Lillian Burry and auto dealer vice president John Curley, an intensely focused campaigner who served as a Red Bank Councilman and has close political connections to state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Monmouth).

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With one full week left, 3rd and 7th House races still biggest flashpoints

Third Congressional

To the most hardened observer of New Jersey politics, the 3rd Congressional District race offers little more than the inevitable collision of two powerful forces in this conservative, military family values stronghold, which runs up to the edges of Democratic Party bulwark Camden County to the south.

It appears to be a classic case of military industrial complex versus party machine, as Republican Chris Myers, a $250,000-a-year earning Republican executive at Lockheed Martin, battles Harvard-educated career Trentonian state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) for a seat vacated by U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-Burlington).

Assembly Speaker – and Adler compatriot -Joe Roberts (D-Camden) argues that the only way South Jersey ever stood a chance of exerting influence statewide was to bind together.

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New York Times endorses Lautenberg

The New York Times endorsed Frank Lautenberg for a sixth term in the U.S. Senate today, lauding him for doubling Amtrak’s annual budget and being an “effective champion of banning smoking on domestic airlines and in other public places.”

The paper, however, did chastise Lautenberg for agreeing to only one televised debate.

“New Jersey voters deserved a better race this year than the nearly invisible contest between Senator Frank Lautenberg and Richard Zimmer, his Republican challenger,” read the first line of the endorsement.

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In long-shot quest, Zimmer can’t count on the media

In long-shot quest, Zimmer can’t count on the media
Former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer is challenging four-term U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg
Even if the New Jersey print media industry was thriving, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer would still probably be a long-shot in his quest for incumbent Frank Lautenberg’s U.S. Senate seat.

But for a politician whose biggest problem this whole campaign cycle has been has lack of name recognition, the fact that most of the Garden State’s home-grown media outlets are on life support has made getting his name out there that much more difficult, Zimmer said today.

“In previous elections, I’d have Jim Goodman just bugging the hell out of me from The Trenton Times. I don’t believe I’ve been covered by the Trenton Times yet. Maybe the time I campaigned in Hamilton in Septemberfest, but I’m not sure about that,” he said in a phone interview today (Goodman was a casualty of Newhouse’s decision to combine the Statehouse bureaus of The Star-Ledger and Trenton Times last year).

Zimmer, who was plucked out of relative obscurity as a lobbyist in Washington to fill in for the beleaguered and three-week-old candidacy of Goya heir Andy Unanue, is severely trailing in the polls against Lautenberg. But that may have more to do with Zimmer’s visibility than Lautenberg’s winning campaign style. In a Monmouth University/Gannett poll released earlier this week, Lautenberg led 52 percent to 36 percent, but the most telling number with two weeks to the election at the time the poll was taken: 56 percent of voters still didn’t know who Dick Zimmer was.

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New York Times endorses Adler, Lance, Shulman

The New York Times today endorsed two Democrats and one Republican in New Jersey’s three hot congressional races.

The Times picked State Sen. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) over Republican Medford Mayor Chris Myers in the 3rd Congressional district, writing that he “is a thoughtful, moderate Democrat who has helped ban smoking and curb predatory lending.”

But the paper, a frequent target of Republicans, picked State Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington) over Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) in the 7th District, writing that both are “excellent candidates,” but that Lance’s “leadership qualities and his voice of moderation are needed now in Congress and in the Republican Party.” 

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40% decrease in Star-Ledger newsroom

The Star-Ledger said that they have accepted 151 newsroom buyout offers and will continue with 40% less staff by the end of the year. Seventeen buyout requests were turned down. Publisher George Arwady, who gets credit for saving the state's largest newspaper, said that the departues will be staggered. In an e-mail to employees, Editor Jim Willse said his new challenge is to "figure out a way to make a good newspaper with a 40% smaller staff."

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Atlantic Democrats hope to regain losses

Atlantic County Democratic Chairman Patrick D’Arcy, who succeeded Ronald Ruff as county chairman in June, seems to have inherited the helm of the party during at a fortunate time.

Democrats, for the first time ever, outnumber Republicans in Atlantic County – and by a lot.

“This is certainly a traditionally Republican area. Everyone can have philosophical differences, but Obama has energized people who have never been involved before. You’re talking about a 20,000 swing in one year. Last year there were 10,000 less Republicans, now there are 10,000 more,” he said. “When you’re looking at it pro-rata, that’s an insane amount.”

D’Arcy sees that number as a sign that Democrats are going to make up for the freeholder seats they lost last year, after which they’ll be able to make gains on top of it to eventually take control of the board.

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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 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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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

"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

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