Strong New Jersey Chairwoman Diane Gooch told NJ.com’s Auditor that she’d be an enthusiastic candidate for congress against either Frank Pallone or Rush Holt:
A scandal — and an opportunity
Diane Gooch may be looking to transform U.S. Rep. Anthony Weiner’s shame into her political gain.
Gooch, who wanted to take on U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6th Dist.) last year but lost the GOP primary to tea party favorite Anna Little, last week launched a “nationwide internet campaign” with the website WeinerMustResign.com. It is paid for by a nonprofit political organization that Gooch set up last summer.
In addition to the website, Gooch has been interviewed on a dozen radio shows and denounced Weiner (D-N.Y.), who is under fire for sending lewd photos of himself to women over the internet. She also plans to air radio ads on WABC, which features a stable of conservative talk show hosts.
So why does a wealthy Rumson Republican care so much about a Manhattan
congressman’s sex scandal?
“I care because he’s a congressman, and I think all congressmen should have integrity and common sense,” said Gooch, publisher of the Two River Times in Red Bank.
Of course, it doesn’t hurt that the effort builds Gooch’s name ID in case she wants to run again for a House seat. Visitors to the political committee’s website are hit immediately with a picture of Gooch, and a 451-word bio of her is just one click away. The committee, Strong New Jersey, raised $239,000 in 2010 — $99,000 from Gooch and $140,000 from her husband, Mickey.
Gooch said she hasn’t decided whether she’ll run because New Jersey’s congressional districts have yet to be redrawn.
“If they hand me a great district and I think I can beat (Democratic U.S. Reps.) Frank Pallone or (Rush) Holt, you better believe I’ll be there,” she told The Auditor.