State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-1) took a pass on a CD2 run against Congressman Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ2) this year, Save Jerseyans, leaving his party’s chances for a New Jersey Democrat House pick-up in the less-than-capable hands of Bill Hughes, Jr., scion of a political family led by his father, former Congressman Bill Hughes.
I say less-than-capable because Hughes has $342,199 on hand, hardly an inspiring amount of cash for a Democrat challenger in a PVI D+1 district where the multi-term incumbent boasts a better than one million dollar advantage. Hughes will likely post a less-than-inspiring finish in November barring a major Lobiondo slip-up or a dramatic reversal of the national climate trajectory (we just found out that President Obama is solidly upside down statewide at the moment, so he’s likely even less popular in the redder reaches of South Jersey).
Van Drew obviously considered this likelihood in taking a pass, and with Hillary Clinton or another analogous Democrat leading the presidential ticket in 2016, the turnout model is much better for New Jersey Democrat challengers up-and-down the ballot (Obama carried N.J. by about 18-points in 2012).
Consequently, the self-proclaimed moderate Democrat is working on maintaining his party connections by hosting a July 5th fundraiser for none other than the decidedly far-left Cory Booker (D-Twitter). Tickets for the Cape May brunch reception at the private home of former head of the CRDA, Curtis Bashaw range from $500 to $2,600.
Not a bad way to make friends, right?