Dr. Alieta Eck is laying the groundwork to run against 12 District Congressman Rush Holt. She expects to make a formal announcement of her candidacy after the first of the year. She was a candidate in the Special Senate Primary to replace the late Senator Frank Lautenberg this summer, losing to former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan. Lonegan went on to lose to then Newark Mayor Cory Booker by 11%.
Eck told MMM this afternoon that she is setting up meetings with the Republican County Chairs of the distirct (Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Union) and the National Republian Congressional Committee. She hopes to avoid having to defend her nominating petitions come April. She also hopes to be unopposed for the GOP nomination. Eck said she is being advised by GOP consultant David Millner and former Congressman Mike Pappas. Holt unseated Pappas in 1998.
It’s not news that Toms River Councilman Maurice “Mo” Hill is interested in the Third Congressional District seat, Save Jerseyans, but the retired rear admiral appears to have stepped up his efforts over the past week, making phone calls to key regional political players and committee members to gauge their support for a hypothetical candidacy according to Save Jersey sources in the district.
Hill might be the perfect candidate, at least on paper. In addition to a decorated naval career, Hill is a husband, father, civic leader and practicing dentist. You can read a little bit more about him here at the Toms River site.
What are his chances? Great question.
It may still be a little while longer before we get a clearer idea of what’s happening in CD3. We already gave you an initial breakdown of the Burlco/Ocean political landscapeafternews of Jon Runyan’s retirement broke on November 6th. Both county chairmen are likely weighing the potential interest levels of any self-funding candidates in the district or someone of Runyan’s profile like former MLB pitcher Al Leiter at the moment, but that doesn’t mean they’ll prevent other prospects from making calls and testing the waters in a non-committal fashion.
If they can’t find one, folks, then we may very well see a primary like we did back in 2008.
Who could blame them? Granted, 2011 redistricting took the heavily populated (and Democratic) Camden County township of Cherry Hill out of the equation, making it a R+2 district according to the Cook Partisan Voting Index. On paper, NJ-02 to the immediate south is a more enticing prospect (it’s PVI D+1) than the nearly 86% white NJ-03 populated by a large military presence.
But nothing’s that simple, is it? President Obama carried the district in both 2008 and 2012. Burlington County continues to undergo significant demographic changes and an open seat injects significant uncertainty into any contest. The DCCC trumpeted the news of Runyan’s early retirement as a “a new opportunity” for a 2014 pick up. And it could happen.
This news from NJ-03 creates another competitive New Jersey House seat in 2014 to compliment NJ-02.
Early on, I’m told early contenders are state Senators Dawn Addiego (R-Burlington) and Christopher Connors (R-Ocean), both of whom were easily reelected yesterday in their respective districts. That could set up another titanic primary contest between Bill Layton and George Gilmore if the GOP heavyweights can’t agree on a common candidate.
Now Anna Little (R-NJ06) is launching a third bid for New Jersey’s 6th Congressional District seat.
“You deserve a Congressman who will take your voice to Washington,” said Little, a former Monmouth County mayor and freeholder, in a late Thursday night email. “You deserve a Representative who will challenge failed policies, cut through spin and tell the TRUTH about ‘Obamacare.’ I’m Anna Little and I want to work for YOU in Washington.”
But with all of that being said, folks, you can’t discount Little’s determination and charisma in low-turnout primary fights. I’ve participated on panels with her in the past and she’s a smart cookie. What remains to be seen (besides who else might get in the race) is how she’d treat 2014 differently from a strategic/coalition-building perspective and, as the competing CD2 story line illustrates, no one is quite sure of what the 2014 cycle will look like by this time next fall. An Obamacare backlash? Or a shutdown rebuke? Roll the dice…
Text of her full announcement email is reproduced below the fold:
The 2013 Election is days away, Save Jerseyans, but the fight for New Jersey’s last truly competitive congressional seat is already heating up.
New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District is currently represented by veteran Frank LoBiondo (R-NJ02) but is considered a D+1 district by the Cooker Partisan Voting District. Some Democrats are betting fallout from this month’s shutdown could render Republicans is marginal districts vulnerable next fall.
William Hughes, Jr., the son of former Rep. William Hughes (D-NJ02) who represented the district for all but two years between 1970 and 1995, formally announced his candidacy on Thursday. Meanwhile, Cape May GOP Chairman and Save Jersey contributor Michael Donohue took aim at state Senator Jeff Van Drew (D-Cape May) who has been openly flirting with a run for the last couple cycles:
Each member of Congress “earns” 3.4 times more than the average American worker, Save Jerseyans.
Congress also receives the equivalent of $14,000 in paid time off… assuming they only take half of the time off as the average federal employee. Taxpayers contribute about $6,000 to each Member of Congress’s health and life insurance and another $9,000 to the employer’s share of Social Security and Medicare taxes.
How much work did they do for it? Congress was in session just 126 days this year. They worked just two days in the month of August.
The truth of the matter, Save Jerseyans, is that many of things you loathe about politics are actually legal. Steve Lonegan used to call it “institutional corruption,” and both major political parties are purveyors of it.
CBS’s ’60 Minutes’ took a hard look at one of the more egregious practices over the weekend (known as the “leadership PAC”) and a familiar New Jersey face was prominently featured: