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Category: Election 2013

Lance vs. Larsen Debates Scheduled

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Leonard Lance (left) and David Larsen (right)

Leonard Lance (left) and David Larsen (right)

Heads up, Save Jerseyans…

The Lance for Congress campaign announced its 2014 GOP Primary debate schedule on Monday; incumbent U.S. Rep. Leonard Lance (R-NJ07) will face off with his 3-time primary opponent David Larsen on two separate occasions:

TUESDAY, MAY 27: Radio debate hosted by WRNJ radio (1510 AM, FM 92.7, and FM 104.7). 11 a.m. to 12 p.m. For more information visit

WEDNESDAY, MAY 28: Debate hosted by the Gateway Regional Chamber of Commerce. 8 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. at the Holiday Inn, 36 Valley Road in Clark. For more information visit

We Can’t Work with These People

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

I believe the kids call this “talking smack,” Save Jerseyans:

sweeney and christie tweet

My, how times have changed. Quickly. Let it stand as a warning to ALL Republicans wherever they roam… or try to do business with liberal Democrats by colluding with liberal Democrats…


DGA: Buono’s Still a Loser

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

While the media flagellates itself for endorsing Chris Christie last November in light of the Bridgegate/Sandygate allegations, Save Jerseyans, DGA Chairman Governor Peter Shumlin (D-VT) remains unapologetic concerning his decision to let Barbara Buono flounder without financial support.

He told Politico on Friday that it’s his organizations’ job “reelect incumbent Democratic governors, and elect Democratic governors where we currently have Republicans serving, where we can win.”

Read more:

GOP Bridgegate Silence Explained?

OPINION: How Chris Christie’s Coattailless Landslide Jaded Down-Ballot Republicans When He Needed Them Most

By Rick Shaftan | The Save Jersey Blog


Many commentators, both inside and out of New Jersey, have questioned why so few Republicans have piped up in support of Governor Chris Christie throughout the ongoing “Bridgegate” and “Sandygate” scandals.

Here’s one major but often overlooked reason: New Jersey’s Republicans went into the 2013 election with high hopes that an expected Christie landslide over hapless Democrat Barbara Buono would sweep in downballot Republicans up and down the state as happened when Tom Kean beat Peter Shapiro by a 70-29 margin in 1985.

But it didn’t work out that way.


RNC Claims Success in N.J.

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

alex smith

CRNC Chairwoman and former Save Jersey blogger Alex Smith addresses the RNC’s 2014 Winter Meeting.

The RNC held its annual meeting last week, Save Jerseyans, and among other hot topics on the agenda, attendees heard about GOP successes in… New Jersey.

Here’s an excerpt from the welcome letter:

We tested our Hispanic engagement strategy in the New Jersey gubernatorial election with positive results–winning one county (Passaic) that had never gone Republican because of our Latino staff and offices making inroads in the community.


U.S. Attorney Subpoenas Christie Campaign, NJGOP Records

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

Christie PumpkinOn this episode of “As New Jersey Turns”…

PolitickerNJ reports that the U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s office sent subpoenas duces tecum (a documentation-seeking demand) to both the Christie for Governor 2013 reelection campaign as well as the New Jersey State Republican Committee (NJ GOP), presumably in connection with the ongoing Bridgegate probe initiated earlier this month:

“’Patton Boggs has been retained to represent the Christie for Governor re-election campaign and the New Jersey Republican State Committee in connection with investigations being conducted by the US Attorney’s Office and the legislative committee,’ said Patton Boggs attorney, Mark Sheridan.”

Twenty other subpoenas were sent to Christie governmental staffers – former and present – prior to Tuesday’s inauguration.

2013’s Top 13 N.J. Winners

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

We’ll get to the losers a little bit later, Save Jerseyan, but for now (as well as for the sake of wrapping up a long, busy year on a “positive” note), here are the thirteen people/groups of people who undoubtedly walked away from 2013 with the most to be happy about in the New Jersey political world:


(1) Chris Christie

Christie close upDuh, I know, but it bears repeating that Chris Christie is now indisputably the most powerful Republican in the United States and, if the latest polls are any indication, well-positioned to upset Hillary Clinton. At the moment. A lot might happen (and go wrong) over the next few years. Any number of decisions including the DREAM Act could come back to haunt him. A scandal like Bridgegate could derail his own dreams or, despite his team’s best efforts, he might fight himself over-exposed and vulnerable to another candidate who hasn’t yet come into his or her own on the national stage. But that’s all speculative. Today, Chris Christie is undeniably the man to beat for both sides of the aisle. It’s hard to imagine a scenario where a politician could’ve had a stronger 2013.

(2) Extended Christie Team


$500 and an Assembly Seat

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

AlbanoThat’s what lying to the 200,000+ residents of New Jersey’s First Legislative District and trying to destroy a state trooper’s reputation will cost you, Save Jerseyans.

The Joint Legislative Committee on Ethical Standards (finally) acted on an ethics complaint filed against soon-to-be-former Assemblyman Nelson Albano on Tuesday afternoon and fined him $500 for violating the public trust.

LD1’s Democrat ticket went as far as lying about the status of the legislative inquiry to try and save Albano’s political skin but Sam Fiocchi (R-Cumberland) overtook him on Election Day, making Albano the only Democrat legislative incumbent to lose out of all 40 districts.

$500 is hardly commensurate to a smeared reputation, and it would’ve be nice for LD1 voters to judge Albano and his ticket on this information BEFORE the election but hey, good riddance to bad rubbish come January, right?

Scarpa’s (Very) Late Surge in LD38

LD38 Assembly Challenger Significantly Narrows Gap in Cliffhanger Recount; Eustace Clinging to 36 Vote Lead

Joe Scarpa

By Matthew Gilson | The Save Jersey Blog

As Christmas approaches and snow blankets the Garden State, most of my fellow Save Jerseyans probably are thinking of the November elections as an event long in the past. 

However, in one legislative district, things just refuse to end and, as Republicans looking for elusive legislative progress, we should be in no hurry.  The battle for the final seat in the extremely close 38th is actually heating up. 

After having a slim lead on Election Night, Rochelle Park Mayor Joe Scarpa trailed incumbent Tim Eustace by 54 votes after absentees and provisional were counted. On Tuesday night, there was cautious optimism among Scarpa backers that the GOP challenger may erase that deficit once again. 


A Tale of Two Assembly Seats

Amodeo Concedes in LD2 While Scarpa Gains Ground in LD38

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

amodeoA quick Election 2013 recount update for those of you retaining some stomach lining:

Fading Republican hopes of a successful legal challenge in LD2 were dashed today when incumbent Assemblyman John Amodeo conceded, Save Jerseyans.

“I congratulate Mayor Vince Mazzeo on his successful campaign and wish him luck in his first term in the New Jersey Assembly,” Amodeo told members of the press on Tuesday. Asm. Amodeo lost the recount of his disgustingly-close legislative race with Democrat challenger Mayor Vincent Mazzeo of Northfield on December 3rd. Amodeo ultimately lost by 39 votes, or 1 more than he had lost by prior to the recount.

It’s a somewhat different story in terms of trajectory at the opposite end of the Garden State Parkway where GOP challenger Mayor Joe Scarpa of Rochelle Park cut his Election Day deficit from 54 to 36 votes in the initial stages of a recount. Whether he can find enough votes to overtake Tim Eustace remains a challenge. More on that later.

At the moment, the NJ GOP is grappling with a net gain of zero after last month’s legislation elections. My stomach lining is GONE in case you were wondering…

Left Goes After Wally Edge (to Get Christie)

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

"Wally Edge"

“Wally Edge”

The all-out Democrat push to wound Governor Chris Christie ahead of 2016 is already well underway, Save Jerseyans, but the New Jersey Dems think they’ve finally bloodied the waters with the unlikeliest of all scandal fodder: traffic jams.

You can click here to get caught up on the substantive details. The allegations boil down to one question: did the Port Authority get political and retaliate against the Democrat Mayor of Fort Less for refusing to endorse Governor Christie’s bid for reelection?

For those of you without much North Jersey commuting experience, the lanes from Fort Lee to the George Washington Bridge constitute a vital traffic artery up that way.

The man reported to be at the center of it all is former Livingston Mayor David Wildstein. Most of our readers have never heard the name, but a few veteran New Jersey political blog patrons will recall that Wildstein served as editor of PolitickerNJ for many years under the pen name “Wally Edge,” a nom de plume derived from the Republican Governor and U.S. Senator who loomed large during the Nucky Johnson era of Garden State politics.


Amodeo Loses LD2 Recount

By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog

atlantic city skylineIt’s all over in LD2, Save Jerseyans.

The unofficial results of the Assembly recount between incumbent John Amodeo and challenger Vincent Mazzeo are in: this time, Mazzeo defeated Amodeo by 39 votes, 25,166 to 25,127, just one vote more than the 38 vote pre-recount margin of victory for the Northfield Democrat.

To the surprise of everyone (and the horror of Republicans), the LD2 story has emerged as Election 2013’s most controversial subplot. ]

Matters reached a boiling point over the last week when Amodeo’s running mate Asm. Chris Brown criticized the Governor’s campaign strategy, drawing a strong rebuke from many pro-Christie quarters including from the Governor himself.

Christie-Kean Rift Was Over Differing Strategies

By Art Gallagher |

Christie bus tourGovernor Chris Christie’s post-election attempt to replace Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr with Senator Kevin O’Toole was not a matter of Christie doing Senate President Steve Sweeney’s bidding, as has been widely perceived, but the culmination of a months long battle over differing strategies over how to wage the legislative campaign.

That Christie was unable to persuade Senate Republicans to dump Kean as their leader in favor of O’Toole was viewed by the media and political observers as a shocking act of defiance of the governor by the caucus viewed as obedient followers. But insiders say the united Republican front portrayed to the public masked an ongoing dispute between Kean’s and Christie’s political teams that resulted in Christie’s landslide reelection yielding no pick up of seats in the Senate.

Continue Reading…

In Defense of Chris Brown

OPINION: Embattled LD2 Assemblyman Properly Assessed South Jersey’s Election 2013

By Irwin M. Fletcher | The Save Jersey Blog

Chris BrownOver the recently-concluded Thanksgiving holiday, Save Jerseyans, you might have missed it when District 2’s Assemblyman Chris Brown stirred up some controversy on Turkey Day Eve.

While visiting Harry Hurley’s radio show, Asm. Brown had the audacity to say that Chris Christie and George Norcross had an understanding that included Christie ignoring down-ticket candidates in South Jersey, particularly when it came to fundraising, an imbalance which Brown believes made a decisive difference on November 5th.

The reaction was predictable. Hurley immediately rebuked Brown. The Republican leadership backlash was swift. Brown quickly backtracked. District 8’s Assemblyman Chris Brown (no relation) issued a statement clarifying that he was not the Chris Brown who criticized Chris Christie’s campaign strategy. The Governor even personally chastised both Brown and his vanquished running mate John Amodeo by name during Monday’s presser.

I am here to defend Chris Brown. Not his own campaign strategy or that of his running mate, but specifically his observation concerning a lack of engagement in South Jersey’s legislative races from the top of the ticket.