Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 22, 2014

Posts in "New Jersey"

May 30, 2014

Republicans Likely to Avert Disaster in New Jersey

Republicans Likely to Avert Disaster in New Jersey

Runyan is retiring from Congress, leaving behind a competitive race for his seat. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

New Jersey Republicans are on track to get their preferred nominee through the primary in the state’s most competitive House race, thanks to the local political machine and a deep-pocketed candidate.

On Tuesday, Randolph Township Mayor Tom MacArthur, is expected to defeat a spirited challenge from a tea-party-aligned frequent candidate, Steve Lonegan. The stakes for this South Jersey open seat are high: The race is rated a Tossup by the Rothenberg Political Report/Roll Call, and the district includes the pricey Philadelphia media market.

“Tom MacArthur is going to win this race because he is a strong conservative, a successful businessman and has the support of both county Republican organizations and more than 160 locally elected Republicans across the district,” wrote Burlington County GOP Chairman William Layton in a Thursday email.

If things do not go exactly as Republicans plan on Tuesday’s primary with MacAruther, GOP operatives fear they will blow the seat entirely. Democrats hope Lonegan will pull an upset, making the path to victory much easier for their de facto nominee, Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard.

Full story

January 9, 2014

Christie Nixes N.J. GOP Chairman Amid Bridge Scandal

Christie Nixes N.J. GOP Chairman Amid Bridge Scandal

Christie is the second-term governor of New Jersey. (Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Just days after Gov. Chris Christie named his campaign manager to run the New Jersey Republican Party, Christie withdrew his support Thursday amid a scandal over a dayslong September traffic jam on the George Washington Bridge.

The scandal has sent the governor’s administration into turmoil, culminating at a Thursday morning news conference, when he explained his change of heart about former top campaign aide.

“I was disturbed by the tone, and behavior, and attitude of callous indifference that was displayed in the emails by my former campaign manager, Bill Stepien,” Christie said. “As a result, I’ve instructed Bill Stepien to not place his name in nomination for state party chairman, and he will not be considered for state party chairman.” Full story

December 12, 2013

DCCC Unveils Final 2014 Recruits for Jumpstart Program

DCCC Unveils Final 2014 Recruits for Jumpstart Program

Israel is the DCCC chairman. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call Photo)

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee unveiled its final wave of Jumpstart candidates for the 2014 cycle on Thursday, giving the seal of approval to one final set of recruits before the election year begins.

New this cycle, the Jumpstart program provides “early financial communications, operational and strategic support” to candidates, according to the committee. It also gives members and potential donors a sense of the DCCC’s top candidates in competitive primaries.

“These four standout candidates are being added to the Jumpstart program because they’re committed to the right priorities, like working together to create good jobs, protect our seniors and give the middle class financial peace of mind,” said DCCC Chairman Steve Israel of New York in a statement.

The latest round of candidates are: Full story

November 6, 2013

Democrat to Announce Campaign for Runyan’s Seat

While New Jersey operatives continued to process Tuesday’s election results, Republican Rep. Jon Runyan’s surprise retirement announcement in the 3rd District set off swirls of speculation of who could run for his seat.

Democrats already indicated they wanted to target the seat, but an open-seat race gives the party a much better opportunity to win it. Upon the Runyan announcement, the Rothenberberg Political Report quickly moved the seat from Safe Republican to Tossup.

Democrats are circulating two names as potential candidates for the seat — the most prominent of which is Burlington County Freeholder Aimee Belgard. She filed a statement of candidacy with the Federal Election Commission in mid-October and, according to a news release, is scheduled to announce her campaign on Thursday.

Full story

October 1, 2013

Cory Booker Airs Negative Shutdown Ad Against GOP Rival

Newark Mayor Cory Booker is going on the air with a new television ad that attacks his GOP rival on the government shutdown — just two weeks out from the special election for Senate in New Jersey.

The first few seconds of the spot feature typical Democratic attacks against Republican rivals: tying opponent Steve Lonegan to Social Security and Medicare privatization, saying he supports an abortion ban and labeling him as “too extreme.”

But the advertisement also includes a new, timely line of criticism: Lonegan would “shut down government.”

Full story

June 25, 2013

Cory Booker Airs First TV Ad #NJSEN

Newark Mayor Cory Booker went on the air Tuesday with his first television ad in the special election for Senate in New Jersey.

His first spot, “Run,” is a positive one that touts his record as mayor.

Full story

June 18, 2013

Cory Booker Hires Another Obama Alumnus #NJSEN | Shop Talk

Cory Booker Hires Another Obama Alumnus #NJSEN | Shop Talk

Booker hired more staff. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced he hired another veteran of President Barack Obama’s campaign team to join his Senate campaign in New Jersey.

Addisu Demissie will manage Booker’s bid for the special election, according to a Tuesday news release. He joins several other former hired hands for Obama: strategists Mitch Stewart and Jeremy Bird, polling firm Benenson Strategy Group and campaign spokesman Kevin Griffis. Full story

March 21, 2013

Shop Talk: Booker Hires Kevin Griffis for Senate Race

Shop Talk: Booker Hires Kevin Griffis for Senate Race

Booker is exploring a bid for Senate. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker continues to staff up his nascent Senate campaign; he has hired Kevin Griffis to serve as a senior adviser with a focus on communications.

Booker filed paperwork to explore a run for the open New Jersey Senate seat a couple of months ago, and this new hire signals he is continuing to put together campaign infrastructure.

Public polls show Booker with high ratings since he announced a bid for Senate last year. But several other Democratic candidates are considering a bid, including Reps. Rush D. Holt and Frank Pallone Jr., state Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and state Senate President Steve Sweeney.

A veteran of of Democratic politics in Virginia, Griffis worked on President Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign, according to a 2012 press release from the Podesta Group. Griffis worked at the Department of Commerce prior to his time at the Podesta Group. In 2008, he served as Obama’s communications director for the tough South Carolina Democratic primary.

CQ Roll Call has profiled Booker’s early hires, although his finance director ultimately opted against taking an official role in the campaign.

March 13, 2013

New Jersey: Poll Shows Booker Boosted After Lautenberg Retirement Announcement

New Jersey: Poll Shows Booker Boosted After Lautenberg Retirement Announcement

Booker's position in the polls has improved.

A new poll shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s commanding lead in the 2014 primary in New Jersey has increased since Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg’s retirement announcement.

Half of the respondents said they would back Booker in a new Fairleigh Dickinson PublicMind survey — a score that’s increased by 8 points since a similar January poll.

Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., another Democrat who has expressed interest in the Senate race, picked up 4 percent in the poll. Meanwhile, 7 percent supported Democratic Rep. Rush D. Holt, who has also floated his name as a contender. Thirty-two percent of respondents were undecided.

Full story

February 15, 2013

New Jersey: Holt Expresses Interest in Senate Bid

New Jersey: Holt Expresses Interest in Senate Bid

Holt, right, is considering a bid for New Jersey's Senate seat. (Scott J. Ferrell/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Rush D. Holt, D-N.J., indicated Thursday he is interested in running for Senate.

“There’s no point in being coy,” he told PolitickerNJ. “I’ve made no secret in previous years that I would consider the Senate at the right time. But an expression of interest should not be taken as a campaign announcement.”

Full story

February 14, 2013

New Jersey: Lautenberg Won’t Seek Re-Election

New Jersey: Lautenberg Wont Seek Re Election

Lautenberg announced Thursday that he will not seek re-election. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 4:16 p.m. | Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., will not seek re-election, setting up a lively Democratic primary for his seat in 2014.

CQ Roll Call confirmed Lautenberg’s decision, which he explained to The Newark Star-Ledger in a report published Thursday.

“I am not announcing the end of anything. I am announcing the beginning of a two-year mission to pass new gun safety laws, protect children from toxic chemicals and create more opportunities for working families in New Jersey,” Lautenberg told the paper. “While I may not be seeking re-election, there is plenty of work to do before the end of this term and I’m going to keep fighting as hard as ever for the people of New Jersey in the U.S. Senate.”

Garden State operatives expect more than one Democrat will seek the seat. Last year, Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced he had formed an exploratory committee to look at a bid. Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. is also eyeing the seat, along with possibly other state politicians.

Full story

February 13, 2013

New Jersey: Andrews Defends Booker’s Lautenberg Challenge

New Jersey: Andrews Defends Bookers Lautenberg Challenge

Andrews defended Booker's decision to explore a Senate bid. (Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Rep. Robert E. Andrews defended Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s primary challenge to his fellow New Jersey Democrat, Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, on Tuesday.

“I think he’s tried to be respectful of the senator’s choice, but made it clear he’d like to serve in the Senate and I think that’s very legitimate,” Andrews told CQ Roll Call.

Andrews knows what it’s like to be in Booker’s position. In 2008, he challenged Lautenberg in the Democratic primary; he lost by a whopping 24-point margin.

Booker announced his intention to explore a bid for Lautenberg’s seat late last year, when speculation had already started over whether the 89-year-old senator would run again in 2014.

Full story

February 12, 2013

Shop Talk: Booker Aide Says Finance Director Leaving Campaign, Politics

Shop Talk: Booker Aide Says Finance Director Leaving Campaign, Politics

Booker's finance director has left his Senate campaign. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Newark Mayor Cory Booker‘s Senate campaign fundraiser has suddenly left her position with his nascent Senate campaign to seek a gig outside of politics, his aide confirmed.

Samantha Maltzman left the campaign after less than two weeks on the job, although a Booker aide characterized the departure as amicable.

Maltzman came to the Booker campaign as one of her party’s most prominent finance directors in New Jersey. Her résumé, which CQ Roll Call profiled as part of Booker’s team, includes stints with Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, D-N.J., Sen. Robert Menendez, D-N.J., and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Booker is challenging Lautenberg for the Democratic nomination in 2014, although the five-term senator has not said yet whether he will seek re-election.

Maltzman did not return a request for comment. Full story

February 6, 2013

New Jersey: Geraldo Talks Senate Run on Facebook

Television personality Geraldo Rivera took to his Facebook page to clarify the legal ends of his Senate candidacy contemplations.

“Despite my constitutionally protected musings on whether to seek that high office, I am taking no formal steps to initiate the electoral process, making no declarations, forming no committees, raising no money and hiring no campaign aides,” Rivera wrote. “Therefore, there is no [Federal Communications Commission] complication regarding equal time.”

Rivera is getting at the fact that he hosts a radio program and is stating that he is still in compliance with the “equal time rule.”

Rivera has floated his name as a Republican contender in the 2014 Senate race in New Jersey. Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election. Rivera’s recent comments have mostly been met with eye rolls, but according to The New York Times, Fox News “is taking it seriously.”

Full story

January 31, 2013

New Jersey: Geraldo Rivera ‘Truly Contemplating’ Senate Run

Television personality Geraldo Rivera said on his radio program Thursday that he is “truly contemplating” a run as a Republican candidate for Senate in 2014, per The Hill.

Prior to this news, the action had been entirely on the Democratic side. Newark Mayor Cory Booker has created a federal account in preparation for a Senate run — a move that has greatly antagonized Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, who has not yet said if he is running for re-election.

Another possible Democratic contender is Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. A number of state officials are also being discussed as candidates or are publicly talking about runs, pending Lautenberg’s decision.

Roll Call rates the race as Safe Democratic.

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