Put a bunch of Irish politicians in the same party and what you’ve got is an old Hudson County primary, but put them in opposing parties, add gambling, boxing and war-time middle class angst to the mix, and you’ll find them down in present day Atlantic County, throwing punches long before you ever have to tell them to come out swinging.
In this case it’s Senator James "Sonny" McCullough, the longtime mayor of Egg Harbor Township and a Republican, in a district 2 standoff with Assemblyman James Whelan, the former long serving mayor of Atlantic City and a Democrat.
As the suburban candidate in this race and the mayor of a town that named a golf course after him, McCullough carries the burden of trying to show how forces beyond the shore towns here - namely state government and Atlantic City’s casino industry - have overwhelmingly contributed to the towns’ struggles. And he has to do that while avoiding the danger of appearing too provincial in the face of speedily changing demographics that have already upended long-standing GOP officials in the district.
"We build a brand new school every five years," says the 65-year old McCullough. "I tell my fellow mayors, ‘Every three years I build a neighborhood bigger than your whole town.’"
Whelan, 59, the ex-mayor of a city where the county’s most notorious industry is concentrated, has to demonstrate that he can step beyond the boundaries of Atlantic City and deliver pragmatic solutions to this tax burdened and still Republican-leaning region - even as he fights the tag of being a field hand for Camden County mega-boss George Norcross.Read More >
After about a year and a half in the Senate, Bob Menendez is struggling to become popular with New Jersey voters.
Voters disapprove of Menendez’s performance by a margin of 39 to 31 percent, according to a Quinnipiac poll released today – the lowest rating Menendez has received in that survey.Read More >
Assemblyman Reed Gusciora wants former Vice President Al Gore to be the next president. So he's launching a statewide grassroots movement to muster the necessary New Jersey delegates to put Gore's name in at the Democratic National Convention next summer.
Forget about a draft Al Gore movement now. It's too late, Gusciora contends. Gore supporters, says the veteran progressive legislator, need to organize and take their cause straight out of the February, 2008, Democratic primary to the convention in Denver.
Coming off a ceremony at Giants stadium last Friday at which Gov. Jon Corzine signed the Global Warming Response Act, which Gusciora co-wrote and which global warming guru Gore personally attended, the Assemblyman said he was pumped up to go statewide with his Go Gore message.Read More >
A Quinnipiac University poll released today shows a mixed bag for the 83-year-old U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, and it’s unclear what it means for his reelection prospects. Fifty-four percent of voters say Lautenberg is too old for another term as Senator, yet voters approve of his job performance 41 to 32 percent. But only 31 percent say he deserves to be reelected, while 42 percent say he does not. Still, he beats a generic republican candidate by seven percent.
Lautenberg’s potential Republican opponents see the poll as further evidence of the elder statesman’s vulnerability. But if Democrats have any misgiving about the numbers – either those of the poll or the accumulated years in Lautenberg’s age -- they’re hiding it well. After all, New Jersey voters have not elected a Republican Senator since Clifford Case won his 1972 re-election bid. Only two other states – West Virginia and Hawaii – have gone longer without electing a Republican Senator.Read More >
Assemblyman Joseph Pennacchio is giving serious consideration to a run for U.S. Senate next year. The Brooklyn-born dentist, who is not expected to have an difficulty winning a State Senate seat this fall, says he will spend the summer speaking to Republican County Chairmen and other party leaders as he explores a challenge to four-term incumbent Frank Lautenberg. Pennacchio says that if he does run, it would be to define “who we are as a party, and what direction we should be going in.”Read More >
U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg has never amassed huge approval numbers in public opinion polls, but he’s never lost an election either.
As he approached his first re-election campaign, Lautenberg was at a 36%-21% approval rating in a February 1988 Eagleton Institute poll; voters said they would re-elect Lautenberg over a Republican by a 37%-24% margin. In that race, Lautenberg defeated retired Army General Peter Dawkins by a 54%-46% margin.
ATLANTIC CITY – The Democratic Party’s presumptive gubernatorial nominee officially tapped Jason O’Donnell as chairman of the state party.Read More >
Morning News Digest: Friday, May 17, 2013 By Matthew Arco Smith intends to fight for HCDO seat as Bernie Kenny's name re-emerges in Fulop era Mayor Jerry Healy’s loss Tuesday night inevitably triggered intra-party discussions about consequences to the Hudson County...
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By Tedford J. Taylor No topic is a less likely conversation-starter than our eventual deaths. Still, there is a lot to talk about. When polled, about 90 percent of people presented with end-of-life scenarios prefer the prospect of dying at home with... Read More >
“You represent the grit and tenacity that make Jersey City special. Thank you for believing in this great American experiment called democracy.” - Jersey City Mayor-elect Steve Fulop, to supporters at his victory party last night.- PolitickerNJ.com
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