Andrews says he's ready to take on Lautenberg

Andrews says he's ready to take on Lautenberg

Rep. Rob Andrews is making his second bid for statewide office, challenging Frank Lautenberg in the Democratic Senate primaryRep. Rob Andrews is making his second bid for statewide office, challenging Frank Lautenberg in the Democratic Senate primary

As he launches a primary campaign for Sen. Frank Lautenberg's seat, Rep. Rob Andrews says he’s less prickly than he was 11 years ago when his failed campaign for governor left him holding grudges and questioning the value of a man's word.

The congressman from Camden was bothered by then-Essex County Chairman Thomas Giblin’s 1997 decision to withdraw his support for Andrews to instead back north Jersey product James E. McGreevey for Governor.

“I took it personally and that was my mistake,” said Andrews, 50, who felt vindicated but no less intensely frustrated after McGreevey’s spectacular fall.

“Someone who might have backed McGreevey and not me was not a bad person,” Andrews said.

“He is a foolish person,” the congressman added, “but not a bad person.”

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It’s official: Crowley will not run... again

Despite being poised to enter the Republican Senate primary race for the second time in two weeks, Princeton biotech executive John Crowley once again withdrew his name from consideration today.

“John was deeply impressed with the outpouring of support for his potential candidacy for the US Senate. Many people both locally here in New Jersey and nationally had been encouraging him to run over the past week, but given his tremendous level of responsibility to his family, his company and to the US Navy, he’s decided not to enter the US Senate race this year,” said Crowley’s friend and advisor, Bill Spadea. “I know there was a lot of legitimate anticipation that John would enter this race we’ve been upfront with the many obligations he has, and his decision had to come down to his family.”

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The GOP mess: Crowley won't run; Unanue is reconsidering

The GOP mess: Crowley won't run; Unanue is reconsidering

With John Crowley out, Andy Unanue may stay in the raceWith John Crowley out, Andy Unanue may stay in the raceJohn Crowley will not seek the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, and Andy Unanue is now reconsidering his decision to drop out of the race, as Republicans continue their quest to find a candidate to face off against the winner of the Frank Lautenberg vs. Rob Andrews primary.

Crowley, who wanted to run, has been unable to transition out of his role as President and CEO of Amicus Therapeutics, a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company. He had announced last Monday that he would not run, and then reconsidered after GOP presidential candidate John McCain and NRSC Chairman John Ensign called and encouraged his candidacy.

Unanue, the millionaire heir to the Goya Foods fortune, appeared to be the leading candidate two weeks ago when, at the urging of several top party leaders, he entered the race on Easter Sunday. But his Senate bid suffered a series of setbacks: news that he lived in New York City, allegations associated with his firing at Goya, a drunk driving conviction, and his refusal to shorten his Vail ski trip to introduce himself to party leaders and voters. Unanue is still in Colorado.

The likely front runner now is State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio, a Morris County Republican who has won organization support in Bergen, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, Salem and Somerset counties. But national Republicans and several key state GOP leaders have been reluctant to back Pennacchio because of his perceived inability to raise the millions of dollars needed to mount a credible general election campaign, and because of issues relating to a controversial 94-page manifesto he wrote in 1991 that, among other things, suggested government camps for the homeless and the elimination of Medicaid.

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GOP chairs prepared to switch from Unanue to Crowley

The seven Republican County Chairmen where Andy Unanue has the organization line held a conference call today and agreed to endorse John Crowley for the United States Senate, according to several sources. Unanue has party organization support in Atlantic, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Hudson, Monmouth and Ocean counties.

Mercer County voted this week to endorse Crowley if he runs, and sources say that Burlington County Republicans, who have not backed a new candidate since Anne Estabrook withdrew from the race, are also expected to support Crowley.

Sources say that State Sen. Kevin O’Toole, the Essex County GOP Chairman, strongly leans towards Crowley.

State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio will have line in Bergen, Hunterdon, Middlesex, Passaic, Salem, Somerset and Union counties. He also enjoys support of party leaders in Morris and Warren counties, which have open primaries.

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No decision from Crowley

No decision from Crowley

Biotech millionaire John Crowley is still mulling a bid for the Republican U.S. Senate nomination, according to his top political advisor.

“There has been no formal decision yet,” said Bill Spadea, who has been directing Crowley’s fledgling campaign. “From my perspective as John Crowley’s friend, I want to make sure he’s making a completely informed decision. We are thrilled that lots of folks are collecting signatures for John.”

Crowley announced on Monday that he would not run, but has reconsidered after calls from presidential candidate John McCain and Sen. John Ensign (R-NV), the Chairman of the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Republican sources say that Ensign told Unanue this week that Crowley is their first choice, and urged the Goya Foods heir to drop his Senate bid if Crowley runs. But Ensign pledged to support Unanue in a three-way contest with State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and Ramapo College Professor Murray Sabrin.

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Mercer GOP organizes to collect Crowley petition signatures

Mercer County GOP Chairman Roy Wesley is leading a weekend push to get signatures on John Crowley’s nominating petitions.   In an e-mail to Republicans, Crowley said he was “looking for volunteers to help gather petition signatures for John Crowley for U.S. Senate.”  A group of petition canvassers are meeting at the offices of Jamestown Associates at 10AM this morning to begin circulating the Crowley petitions.

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The Back Room

Monmouth Shore Local Newspaper, The Two River Times, Gets New Owner

The Two River Times, a weekly local newspaper covering affluent towns on along the Navesink and Shrewsbury Rivers, was sold earlier this month. On July 11, Domenic M. DiPiero III of Rumson, bought the quirky community newspaper from its previous owner, Michael "Mickey" Gooch.

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Wake-Up Call

Morning Digest: July 31st

  Christie to Newark hecklers: 'I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else' BELMAR - Gov. Chris Christie's got nothing but love for The Brick City, or so he says. In response to a Newark school student here today -- a 17-year-old president of the Newark Student Union...

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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 >


(7-30-14) Who Is Best Equipped to Decide the Fate of the Common Core? - The latest Christie controversy surrounds his Executive Order to revamp the state’s academic... more »
 The following letter was sent today to Republican state legislators, county chairs, state committee members, and New Hampshire... 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

"Go to Mayor [Cory] Booker and ask him if he thinks in the years that he was mayor if I ignored Newark. The fact is I've spent as much time in Newark as anyone else." - Gov. Chris Christie

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