New Jersey Republicans aren’t accustomed to competitive primaries. The closest we’ve seen in recent history was back in 2005 (the first statewide race in which your Blogger-in-Chief was eligible to vote) when Doug Forrester edged by Bret Schundler by less than 5-points in a very crowded field.
The unusual combination of distracted Christie political organization (that isn’t very antagonistic towards Cory Booker to begin with) and a strong incumbent Democrat kept the pre-ordained establishment favorites and multi-millionaire federal aspirants on the sidelines. What’s more, Trenton let it be known, in no uncertain terms, that it really doesn’t give a damn who wins the nomination.
Not because Christie came into that hotel in Maryland and blew everyone away with a heavy dose of juicy conservative one-liners (as so many try to do at the yearly conference), but because he largely did no harm to himself with a group that, at least on the national level, has been a bit hesitant to get behind him.
Pretty soon we should be able to see how this “do no harm” strategy worked out, because the poll numbers that created the backdrop for this speech are not looking pretty…
NRA chieftain Wayne LaPierre’s Thursday address was the first speech I was able to take in since coming down to CPAC 2014 (Conservative Political Action Committee), Save Jerseyans.
I wasn’t disappointed. LaPierre’s remarks were fantastic and drew a steady stream of applause and cheering from the attendees. As a staunch Second Amendment supporter and a member of NJ2AS fighting the legislature’s gun grab in New Jersey, I was moved by his short but delightfully on-point speech.
We’ll find out shortly whether his sentiments are more widely-shared among attendees, Save Jerseyans, but the Daily Beast‘s Olivia Nuzzi ran into this gentleman at CPAC 2014 who reportedly told her that he’s hoping to stage a walkout protest of Governor Chris Christie’s 11:45 a.m. Thursday address to the annual conservative conference:
It’s just one man’s opinion, Save Jerseyans, but New Jersey Democrats have been watching too much True Detective as of late. Each one of them is trying to leave a unique footprint on the Bridgegate/Sandygate/Whatevergate saga by wildly speculating as to the possible existence of new dimensions of corruption enveloping the embattled Christie Administration and, hopefully, landing themselves some air time with Rachel Maddow.
Tuesday night was Sen. Raymond Lesniak’s turn to succumb to its grip.
The liberal Democrat who led the charge to end New Jersey’s death penalty cast due process to the wind and openly speculated, without any cited evidence, whether Governor Chris Christie had committed a form of tax fraud…
I’ll say this for Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Menendez (D-Dominican Republic, Ecuador), Save Jerseyans: his foreign policy track record is a lot better than Joe Biden’s. That’s not saying a WHOLE lot, but there you have it.
For example, when he joined Jake Tapper to discuss the Ukrainian/Russian situation last week, only hours before the invasion, Menendez correctly identified Putin’s imperial ambitions:
As anticipated, Save Jerseyans, the Burlington County Republican Organization sought to kill Steve Lonegan’s congressional candidacy in its cradle on Monday by giving his primary opponent, Tom MacArthur, the county line only 24 hours after we learned that Ocean County had done the same.
“Our Screening Committee, as well as our Republican Municipal Chairs, are proud to enthusiastically endorse Tom MacArthur for Congress in the Third District and will forward our recommendation to the full County Committee for their consideration,” said Screening Committee Chairman Steve Solomon in a Monday evening press release.
“Not only were we deeply impressed by Tom’s experience of helping to create jobs and prosperity for his employees and their families, but also by his vision for the future of our party and our nation,” continued Solomon. “Tom’s compelling story as a self-made success and someone who has dedicated his life to giving back to those in need made him stand out among the candidates we interviewed. We believe he will make an excellent Congressman for the people of Burlington County and the people of the Third District.”
A MacArthur victory is significant because it virtually guarantees him the line in both Ocean and Burlington counties and, with the lines, cements his front-runner status in the race to succeed Jon Runyan as CD3′s representative in Congress.
It also likely sets up a 2-way contest; only former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan (or another millionaire like Chris Isola who filed to formally explore a campaign) could hope to compete without premiere ballot position. Lonegan will stay in but no spin can hide his camp’s disappointment; the veteran political combatant now faces a hostile Burlington organization without any help from the potent Ocean outfit of Chairman George Gilmore. Name recognition is the only major advantage available to him at this juncture, though the latter could prove a double-edged sword among some base voters who dismiss Lonegan as a perennial candidate.
How many CD3 voters fit into that category? And will MacArthur present a credible alternative who can take advantage of Lonegan fatigue to the extent it exists? We’ll know for sure approximately three months from today… but why wait to speculate? Vote for your preference – Lonegan or MacArthur – in our online poll below the fold…
Winter Storm Titan is poised to drop anywhere from a few to a foot of snow and ice on the Garden State over the next 24 hours. Governor Christie has once again declared a state of emergency and closed state government for all but “essential” employees on Monday.
Click here to see the executive order. Chief Justice Rabner arrived at the same conclusion and closed all state judicial vicinages and offices.
It’s finally convention season, Save Jerseyans, and the first GOP committee members are beginning to select their preferred choices for the June Primary.
Today it was Union County’s turn. In one of the only contested races, delegates assembled in Union Township on a cold but sunny March day voted to back Rich Pezzullo for the U.S. Senate nomination.
Pezzullo reportedly ended up with 75 votes; Professor Murray Sabrin landed 33, former FBI agent Robert Turkavage earned 31 votes, and concrete businessman Brian Goldberg secured 13. A fifth candidate, Jeffrey Bell, submitted his letter of intent but did not appear.
Some Republicans had hoped that Ciattarelli, who certainly looks the part and is a proven vote-getter in a less-than-deep red district, would apply his considerable resources to give Cory Booker (D-Twitter) a run for his money. Sources report his major concern was the effect a federal bid – and hypothetical job in Washington – might have on his young family.
Moving forward: our discussions with the other hopefuls are already underway. Click here to watch this week’s interview with candidate Brian Goldberg.