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Posts in "New Jersey"
January 28, 2013
Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. of New Jersey will not be running for governor, despite finding the office “intriguing” in December.
In a joint press release with the Democratic leadership of the three counties he represents, Bergen, Hudson and Passaic, Pascrell announced that he was endorsing state Sen. Barbara Buono for governor.
No other serious Democratic candidate has emerged, and this is a show of establishment support behind Buono.
Should she win her party’s nomination, she will challenge popular Republican Gov. Chris Christie in November of this year.
January 23, 2013
New Jersey Democrats are ready for Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg to step aside in favor of Newark Mayor Cory Booker, according to a Qunnipiac University poll released Wednesday morning.
The survey showed that in a Democratic primary, Booker got 51 percent of the support, while 30 percent backed Lautenberg.
The poll’s key finding is that while Democrats might approve of Launtenberg’s job performance, they are ready for him to retire. Lautenberg’s job approval was at 50 percent, but 45 percent said he does not deserve to be re-elected, compared to 36 percent who said he does.
Another 71 percent of those surveyed said that his age, 90 years old at his next swearing-in, makes his job “too difficult.”
January 15, 2013
Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg won’t be intimidated, nor will he decide his political future based on Newark Mayor Cory Booker’s entrance into the New Jersey Senate race, Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. suggested in an interview with CQ Roll Call on Tuesday.
“My friend Frank Lautenberg is a dog. I mean he ain’t gonna lay down for anybody,” Pascrell said. “He will make the right decision when it comes time, so I’m confident in the process. I’m confident in our bench and we’ll see what happens.”
Lautenberg has yet to announce whether he will seek re-election in 2014. But Booker has filed papers with the Federal Election Commission, possibly paving the way for a contested Democratic primary. The move has sparked drama of the Garden State variety. Lautenberg’s aides have responded with highly critical, anonymous comments to the press directed at Booker.
“That’s kind of like, in-your-face. So, now you know how I think about it,” Pascrell said of Booker’s decision to file his candidacy papers before Lautenberg had announced whether he would run for re-election. “It’s a photo-op. What can I tell you?”
In at least his third national television appearance in about 36 hours, Newark Mayor Cory Booker attempted to downplay his nascent Senate bid on MSNBC’s “The Last Word.”
“This is really not an issue right now. In order to stay in compliance with the Federal Election Commission, I can’t even do the due diligence of research, of travel, I can’t even go down to D.C. to meet with people from my mayoral account. I have to file something,” Booker said in a Monday evening interview.
“This is 18 months away. It’s a long time. All of New Jersey, we should not be talking about Senate races!” he added. “We have two great senators doing a great job for us, fighting the good fight on critical issues from guns to Sandy aid. … We don’t really need a distraction right now over a Senate race. It’s not even an election year.”
At issue is the fact that until Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg announces his retirement, Booker has essentially launched a primary challenge of the 88-year-old incumbent. The move sparked anger within Lautenberg’s camp and within New Jersey Democratic circles.
Booker indicated he had agreed to the Monday night MSNBC television appearance to discuss gun violence.
January 13, 2013
Newark Mayor Cory Booker would not rule out a primary challenge against New Jersey Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg during an interview Sunday on “Meet the Press.”
“I’m not ruling out anything right now, but I think it’s premature to be speculative,” he said.
Moderator David Gregory asked whether there have been any missteps in the early groundwork of the Booker campaign. Booker announced in December that he was seriously exploring a Senate run and filed papers with the Federal Election Commission on Friday. Lautenberg is up for re-election and has yet to announce his plans.
“No. Again, this is really early,” Booker responded. “We’ve reached out to him. We even had a trip down here to speak with him, but he wasn’t able to speak.”
The context of the line of questioning includes angry, blind quotes from the Lautenberg camp about Booker to Politico on Friday.
“This campaign is over a year away. You know New Jersey has got to focus on a governor’s race and a legislative race. But for me to do a good exploration, the due diligence for running, I have to file that paper,” Booker said.
January 11, 2013
Updated: 4:30 p.m. | Newark Mayor Cory Booker has filed papers to run for Senate. The Huffington Post first reported the news.
It is another instance of incremental pressure Booker has applied over the last month on Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg, a fellow Democrat. A big question among New Jersey Democrats is: Are these moves encouraging Lautenberg to step aside, or is Booker alienating the incumbent to the point that Lautenberg will double-down and run for re-election?
Earlier this week, Fairleigh Dickinson University released a poll that showed Booker leading Lautenberg in a head-to-head matchup. Also, Sen. Jay Rockefeller’s, D-W.Va., retirement announcement Friday morning sparked chatter on Capitol Hill that Lautenberg is most likely the next senator to announce his retirement.
A “senior adviser” to Lautenberg lashed into Booker in comments to Politico, calling him “self-absorbed and disrespectful.”
January 7, 2013
Newark Mayor Cory Booker said Monday morning that Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg has “got a decision to make” on whether to retire.
The comment, made on CNN’s “Starting Point,” is acknowledgment that the Senate field is far more complicated than he projected during his Senate exploratory announcement. Booker’s candidacy as it stands is a primary challenge of a longtime Democratic incumbent. Lautenberg has yet to announce his retirement, and few in New Jersey have any idea on what he will do.
“I want to give him the space to make his own decision,” Booker said. “I’ve announced my intention to run, but the reality is we’ve got a good Senator. He’s been loyal. He’s been there for a long time. And I think he’s got a decision to make.”
December 19, 2012
Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell Jr. hinted at interest in running for higher state office and he conveyed frustration that Newark Mayor Cory Booker is taking too long decide whether he will run for governor in 2013 or Senate in 2014.
A few weeks ago, New Jersey Democrats forwarded around a curious story from The Bergen Record pushing the idea of a Pascrell gubernatorial run.
“We’ll see what other people have to say about that. I’ve got more on my plate than I can think of,” he said when asked about the idea of running against Republican Gov. Chris Christie. “There’s always been something intriguing about the position, always intriguing.”
At first glance, it would seem odd that Pascrell’s considering a gubernatorial bid.
He fought hard to hold onto his seat in a member-vs.-member primary against fellow Democratic Rep. Steven R. Rothman and has finally built up enough seniority to secure a seat on the powerful Ways and Means Commitee, which he touted in his 2012 campaign.
December 18, 2012
Those close to Newark Mayor Cory Booker telegraphed to the Wall Street Journal Tuesday that the Democrat will run for Senate in 2014, rather than challenge Republican Gov. Chris Christie in 2013.
Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg currently stands in Booker’s way, and the 88-year-old has given zero indication that he plans to retire and clear the way for the popular mayor. Lautenberg was one of the few members to come out forcefully for gun control in the hours after the Dec. 14 shootings in Connecticut.
That means that as it stands, Booker is challenging an active, albeit elderly, incumbent from his own party. Democratic Rep. Frank Pallone Jr., is also said to be eyeing a Senate run in 2014.
November 26, 2012
Republican Gov. Chris Christie announced Monday that he will run for re-election next year, when New Jersey and Virginia are the only two states holding gubernatorial elections.
The gubernatorial elections in the two states, which are always held in the year immediately following a presidential election, are often seen as bellwethers for the following midterms.
“The people need to know I’m in this for the long haul,” Christie said at a news briefing in Middletown, according to The Associated Press. The state is just beginning to recover from the devastating damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.
The Quinnipiac University Polling Institute was scheduled to release results of a survey in New Jersey on the response to Sandy, which should provide evidence for Christie’s standing heading into next year.
The Virginia race will likely be between former Democratic National Committee Chairman Terry McAuliffe and one of two Republican statewide elected officials, Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling or Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli. Democratic Sen. Mark Warner, a former governor, considered running for the governorship but announced last week that he will not seek another term.
November 3, 2012
New Jersey Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno issued a series of directives late today that will allow voters displaced by Hurricane Sandy to cast absentee ballots by email and fax.
Guadagno, a Republican, serves as the state’s top elections official. In one of her new directives, she instructs county clerks to accept absentee voting applications by fax or email up until 5 p.m. on Election Day and to accept ballots themselves electronically until 8 p.m. that day.
Under the directive, all voters displaced by the storm are deemed to be overseas voters under New Jersey law.
August 14, 2012
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie will deliver the keynote address at the Republican convention in Tampa, Fla., according to a USA Today report. Christie is currently drafting a speech that is expected to run 20 minutes.
Additionally, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) has been tapped to introduce presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney for his Thursday evening nomination acceptance speech, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Democrats have already named their keynote speaker: San Antonio Mayor Joaquin Castro.
May 31, 2012
Rep. Steven Rothman is going big in the last days of his Democratic primary against Rep. Bill Pascrell in New Jersey’s newly drawn 9th district.
His campaign just released a television ad about the environment that is on the air in the expensive New York City market. The money behind it is well into the six figures. Redistricting forced both Members to compete for the same Democratic-leaning seat.
May 30, 2012
With less than a week to go before the primary, more Members are picking sides in the battle between New Jersey Democratic Reps. Steven Rothman and Bill Pascrell.
The Member-vs.-Member race has already revealed divided allegiances among legislators. The bulk of Member donations have been directed to Pascrell, who is also getting a campaign visit Friday from President Bill Clinton. Full story
May 23, 2012
With less than two weeks until the primary, today was a big day in the Member-versus-Member race between Demcratic Reps. Bill Pascrell and Steven Rothman of New Jersey.
Before the close of business, political observers got their first glimpse of polling, the Pascrell camp released robocalls from President Bill Clinton and Obama senior adviser David Axelrod made news while campaigning for Rothman in the district.