Romney expects to be back for 2009 gubernatorial race

MEDFORD -- Expect to see more of Mitt Romney in New Jersey.

In May, he founded the Free & Strong America PAC. He was here today to raise money for the congressional campaigns of Chris Myers, after doing the same for Leonard Lance. And he thinks he’ll probably be here next year to help whoever the Republican gubernatorial candidate will be.

When asked if he expects to be here next year, Romney said “My guess is yes.”

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Romney stumps for Myers, fills his coffers

MEDFORD -- Former Massachusetts governor and presidential candidate Mitt Romney came to this quaint little one traffic light downtown tonight to help its mayor become a Congressman.

In a short press conference just before attending a private, $1,000 per head fundraiser for Chris Myers at a private residence in Southampton, Romney, who recently founded Free & Strong America PAC, touted Myers a kindred spirit – a fellow businessman suited to carry on the legacy of retiring Rep. Jim Saxton, who was also present.

“Chris is a person who has experience in the military sector, the private sector and the public sector,” said Romney, standing in front of a gazebo in a small park. “All three areas have given him the kind of perspective which gives him a unique opportunity to help the people of this district.”

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Early numbers: new Republicans nearly double new Dems in Ocean

Ocean County Clerk Carl Block said the numbers of newly registered voters in his county bulged in the past four and a half months, with forms still coming into his office on deadline day.

As of this afternoon, the GOP stronghold numbered 100,724 Republicans, 79,257 Democrats and 195,859 unaffiliated voters. That’s up from the June Primary in which voter registrants numbered 92,616 Republicans, 74,840 Democrats and 150,204 independents.

“We still have a lot coming in,” said Block. “Those new numbers will be off by a couple of thousand by the time it’s over. We’ll take them as long as they’re postmarked by today.”

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Durkin: 'We are experiencing high volume'

Essex County Clerk Chris Durkin: Politicker file photoEssex County Clerk Chris Durkin: Politicker file photo 

The people stood outside the offices of Essex County today in long lines, registration forms in hand, trying to get in under the gun, in the words of County Clerk Chris Durkin.

“We’re experiencing high volume,” said the clerk. “The interest is incredible.”

Since the June 2008 primary, numbers of newly registered voters in the Democratic Party stronghold have jumped by 60,000, estimates Durkin, whose office was under siege all day today on voter registration deadline.

“We have 43,000 newly registered voters in the system,” said Durkin. “In the room here we have bags and bags, what we estimate to be more than 17,000. And that’s not accounting for 19 town halls that will be open until 9 p.m. tonight and mail - as long as a registration form is post-marked by today, we’ll take it.”

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McCain unveils endorsement of Latino businessman in New Jersey

The McCain campaign issued a list of endorsements from 50 Hispanic business leaders around the country, with a heavy emphasis on California and Texas. Among the names was one from New Jersey: Alfredo Gutierrez.

“Alfredo Gutierrez is an entrepreneur and owner of Xtra Supermarket in Newark,” said McCain spokesman Peter Feldman. “He sits on the board of United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. He is the first Dominican to ever hold a seat on the board.”

Feldman said after his arrival to the United States in 1966, Gutierrez worked as a stock boy in a New York grocery store. He later opened his own bodega, followed by five area grocery stores.

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In battleground Monmouth, both sides gain numbers to meet registration deadline day

Monmouth County Clerk Claire French reports that the county offices are extremely busy this evening as residents in the traditionally Republican-controlled central region try to meet voter registration deadline.

Of the Board of Elections, “That office is working into the wee hours,” French told PolitickerNJ.com.

Following the Feb. 5th Democratic Primary, Monmouth recorded 102,466 Democrats and 92,126 Republicans. As of this afternoon, those numbers had jumped to 119,785 registered Democrats and 108,545 registered Republicans in the battleground county, according to French.

267,226 Monmouth County voters remain unaffiliated.

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Adler-Myers go hard at each other on NJN

In a TV showdown to succeed U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-Burlington) in the 3rd District, state Sen. John Adler (D-Camden) and Republican Mayor Chris Myers of Medford appeared this past weekend on NJN’s On the Record in a debate moderated by Jim Hooker.

They promptly went at it in the half hour-long forum, pointedly calling each other “sir” rather than loosening up on a first name basis - Myers continually trying to depict Adler as a tax-hiking creature of Trenton, and Adler countering with his own “W”branding of Myers.

Running neck-in-neck with the Democrat in most polls in a classically Republican district, the Myers campaign rejoiced over news headlines that started rolling in late last month about an apparent slush fund that state lawmakers, including Adler, regularly accessed during the course of the Codey administration.

Myers specifically criticized his rival over an earmark the senator sent to Cherry Hill, where Adler’s wife serves as a local elected official.

The senator conceded that many legislative districts received earmarks, but pointed out that in his case they were for items like police scanners, anti-AIDS initiatives, and, yes, a bathroom overhaul in Cherry Hill.

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Rinaldo remembered for bi-partisan relationship with colleagues

Rinaldo remembered for bi-partisan relationship with colleagues

Matthew John Rinaldo (1931-2008)Matthew John Rinaldo (1931-2008)
Friends and rivals remember Matthew J. Rinaldo, a former Republican Congressman who died yesterday after a long bout with Parkinson's disease at age 77, for his bipartisan style and top notch constituent services.

For Rinaldo, a Republican, that bipartisanship was partly out of necessity. For the entirety of his 20 years in the House, he was a member of the minority party.

"There is no Republican now serving in the House of Representatives who has ever chaired a committee, gaveled a hearing to order, or scheduled a bill for debate on the House floor," he said in a statement announcing his retirement. "Unfortunately, I do not foresee any prospect of that changing in the near term."

Rinaldo served on the House Energy and Commerce Committee as well as the House Select Committee on Aging, and those who knew him say he was frustrated that he never got a chairmanship.

Two years later, the Republicans swept into power. But many of the newcomers of the "Republican Revolution," led by the new House Speaker Newt Gingrich, were not Rinaldo's ilk. They were rock-ribbed conservatives, while he was a moderate with strong labor ties and strong alliances with key Democrats.

He developed a political alliance with Elizabeth Mayor Thomas Dunn - a Democrat who endorsed Ronald Reagan in 1980 - and carried that heavily Democratic city during most, if not all, of his campaigns.

"They both worked across the aisle. That's why both of them were so successful. The key in new jersey has been, and still is, people who can appeal to both parties," said former Gov. Tom Kean. "I did the same thing."

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The Back Room

Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 25th

  After 'briefly' meeting with Christie in Aspen, Astorino says he can live with not having Christie's help New York gubernatorial candidate Rob Astorino's campaign described their candidate's fundraising trip to Aspen last night as a success - even if they will not be depending on the chairman...

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Op-Ed

NJ Legislature must get behind statewide standard of responsible contracting

By Michael Capelli As a 30 year union carpenter, I learned first-hand how important it was to have the right tools for the job. Now as the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the 30,000 men and women of the Northeast Regional Council of Carpenters I... 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

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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