Zeitz hits Smith on Renzi donation

Democratic congressional candidate Josh Zeitz today questioned why his opponent, Rep. Chris Smith, donated $2,000 to outgoing Rep. Rick Renzi (R-AZ) less than a month after Renzi’s insurance business was raided by the FBI.

In February, Renzi pleaded not guilty to a 35 count indictment charging him with using his position to influence land deals. Reports of an investigation of Renzi surfaced in late 2006, and the case took on further controversy after its initiator, former Arizona U.S. Attorney Paul K. Charlton, was forced out of his position by former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales.

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After cakewalk county exec race, Republicans take the fight to McGettigan

In last year’s election for Atlantic County executive, Sheriff Jim McGettigan, a Democrat, lost to incumbent Republican Dennis Levinson by a margin of nearly 2-1. 

The race was largely seen as a disaster for McGettigan, who despite being well-funded by Democrats hoping to topple the state’s only Republican county executive, made one campaign misstep after another.  He wound up losing by a margin that he had won by in his five past sheriff’s races.

This year, Republicans are hoping that the unsuccessful county executive race took enough of a toll on McGettigan’s popularity to put his 15 year hold on the sheriff’s office to an end.  And they’ve fielded Pleasantville Administrative Captain Frank Balles, who’s never sought elected office before, to make it happen. 

“It definitely made him more vulnerable.  It exposed him,” said Balles, who started mulling the sheriff’s bid before McGettigan announced his county executive candidacy. “The problem is that the common citizen has no idea what the sheriff’s department actually does.”

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Libertarians launch statewide effort from Atlantic City

The New Jersey Libertarian Party opened its campaign headquarters on the Atlantic City Boardwalk over the July 4th weekend, according to Lou Jasikoff, regional coordinator for Bob Barr for President.

Running on the New Jersey ticket with Barr - a former Georgia congressman and former Republican - is Mercer businessman Jason Scheurer, the Libertarian Party’s candidate for U.S. Senate.

Scheurer got blown out last year in his 14th District Assembly run.

"We didn’t do as well as we were hoping," admitted Jasikoff of Scheurer’s 2007 campaign. "We were hoping to do a little bit better, but we got certified. That gave us a certain amount of credibility."

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Maltzman goes to work for Lautenberg

Samantha Maltzman is Frank Lautenberg's new Finance DirectorSamantha Maltzman is Frank Lautenberg's new Finance DirectorThe former finance director for Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has joined the re-election team of Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ).

Samantha Maltzman starts work today as finance director for Lautenberg, who's running against challenger, former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer.

After his primary with U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews (D-1), Lautenberg is in financial rebuilding mode, and that's where the campaign intends to make use of Maltzman's expertise.

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Retired GOP chair Pepper honored in Cumberland County

Republicans last week honored Larry Pepper for his 33 years of service as chair of the Cumberland County GOP.

Marking the occasion of his retirement as chairman, over 400 of Pepper’s friends, family and elected officials throughout the state attended a gala at the Centerton Country Club on June 30.

Guests included U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-2), New Jersey State Republican Chairman Tom Wilson, state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, and former state Senator and personal friend James R. Hurley.

LoBiondo and new county Chairman Douglas Sorantino awarded Pepper with a plaque honoring him for his "unprecedented" service.

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Both tradition and the times point to McCain, says Kean

State Sen. Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) with a framed photograph of his father, Thomas J. Kean, and JFK.State Sen. Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) with a framed photograph of his father, Thomas J. Kean, and JFK. 

ASBURY PARK - As the son of a WWII infantryman who also served in the Korean War, state Sen. Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) found himself drawn to the presidential candidacy of U.S. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ).

"You know more about a guy because of what he’s able to endure," said Kean, a New Jersey co-chair of the McCain Campaign.

When McCain’s most senior supporters in the state talk about going after "Reagan Democrats," they’re describing voters with backgrounds not dissimilar from Kean’s.

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Longtime McCain backer Kean likes McCain-Crist ticket

ASBURY PARK - A supporter of Sen. John McCain’s since the Arizona senator’s first run for president in 2000, state Sen. Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) said he believes Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, Jr., would be a good running mate for the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.

"Florida’s an important state and Crist is popular," Kean told PolitickerNJ.com.

He also likes the fact that Crist is a governor, which adds an executive dimension to the candidacy of McCain, who has served in the U.S. Congress for two decades.

Kean personally likes former Gov. Tom Ridge of Pennsylvania, but acknowledges that Ridge’s pro choice views might alienate critical base Republican voters.

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The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: April 18, 2014

Fulop endorses Smith in Bayonne mayoral raceBAYONNE - Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop parachuted into the Bayonne mayoral race on Thursday night by endorsing incumbent Mayor Mark Smith."It is a pleasure to be with you here, Mark," said Fulop to a crowd of more than 125 supporters at a...

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Op-Ed

Paterson can flourish with a second chance

By ASLON GOOW, SR. I have spent the past three decades raising a family, building a business, and working to improve our Paterson communities.  I am proud of those accomplishments.  In 2002, I spoke at an expungement... Read More >

Contributors

(4-16-14) New Jersey Vote By Mail Law - The voter turnout for New Jersey’s November gubernatorial election was the lowest since the days of prohibition, coming... more »
When it comes to profiling Christie, facts are for wussies (4/10/14) - As the national media stories on our Guv pile up, expect more blunders about the Garden State.... more »
This week I begin a series called Dispatches from Somewhere Else. Based on my on-going experiences as an everyman in New Jersey politics, these Dispatches review the hollowness of... more »
Watching Governor Chris Christie's shocking BridgeGate implosion, it's easy to forget the time when he truly seemed unstoppable.  Blessed with incredible political gifts and a Jersey bluster to match,... more »

Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

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