Eck Preparing To Challenge Holt In CD 12


Dr. Alieta Eck

Dr. Alieta Eck

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.

[Aside: NRCC is selling Bush/Cheney 00 tee shirts for $25 if you’re looking for stocking stuffers] (sarcasm off)

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: December 10th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 Congressional Races, Alieta Eck, Rush Holt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments »

Work Horses or Show Horses?

Rush Holt doing Steve Holt. Who is Steve Holt?  facebook photo

Rush Holt doing Steve Holt. Who is Steve Holt? facebook photo

Frank Pallone doing Frank Pallone

Frank Pallone doing Frank Pallone

Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt have each been trying to close the canyon in the polls between themselves and Newark Mayor Cory Booker for the Democratic nomination to succeed the late U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg be asserting that they are “work horses” that get the job done while Booker is a “show horse” celebrity.

There’s not much evidence that it is working.  Nor is there much evidence that Pallone and Holt are indeed “work horses.”

In the 24 years Pallone has been in Congress, 6 bills that he sponsored became law.  The Affordable Health Care Act, aka ObamaCare was not one of them.

Holt has been in Congress 14 years. Three of his bills have become law.

Of those nine bills Pallone and Holt have successfully navigated to the president’s desk for signature, two were to name post offices.  One post office for each of them.

Booker may be a “show horse,” but what do Pallone and Holt have to show for their years in Congress?


Posted: August 2nd, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Cory Booker, Frank Pallone, Rush Holt, Senate Special Election | 7 Comments »

What the Eck!

By Art Gallagher

Dr. Alieta Eck

Dr. Alieta Eck

Now that she survived Steve Lonegan’s challenge to her petitions, it worth getting to know the political novice who was able to get 2,285 nominating signatures in three days, Dr. Alieta Eck.  That was a task that was too much for many seasoned politicians.

From the looks of how the Special Election Senate race is shaping up, Newark Mayor Cory Booker is going to win in a landslide anyway.  Booker has a huge lead over Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver and Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt in the independent polls for the Democratic nomination.  Lonegan is within striking distance of Pallone, Holt and Oliver in the Monmouth University Poll released last Friday, but loses to Booker by 16 points.

The only hope for a Republican to win the Senate seat in October is for someone other than Booker to be the Democratic nominee or for Booker to be badly wounded, politically, in a bloody Democratic primary.  That doesn’t look like it is going to happen.

So far, Pallone and Holt are playing nice.  Pallone is sending out emails asking people to recruit their friends to ‘Like’ his facebook page and volunteer for his campaign.  Holt is posting on facebook asking non-Democrats to change parties in order to vote for him in the primary. If Oliver is doing anything, we haven’t noticed.

No one is mentioning all the shootings in Newark this week, that, if they were happening in Marlboro or Newtown, CT would be making national news.  No one is asking Booker for his travel schedule or where he spends his weekends.   Pallone tried to make an issue of Booker’s relationship with Governor Chris Christie, but Democrats seem to like Christie more than they like Pallone.  No one is making an issue of Booker’s relationship with Wall Street, because Wall Street is investing a ton of money in Newark.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted: June 19th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2014 U.S. Senate race, Alieta Eck, Cory Booker, Frank Pallone, Holt, Pallone, Primary Election, Rush Holt, Senate Special Election, Sheila Oliver, Steve Lonegan | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Oliver is running for Senate

Aseembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. facebook photo

Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver. facebook photo

The Democratic Special Primary for U.S. Senate just got a whole lot more interesting and a whole lot more competitive.

The Star Ledger is reporting that Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver has collected 1500 signatures and will file as a candidate on Monday. She will compete with Newark Mayor Cory Booker, Congressman Frank Pallone and Congressman Rush Holt in the August 13 primary for the Democratic nomination to fill the Senate vacancy cause by Frank Lautenberg’s death.

Oliver, of East Orange, cuts into Booker’s base of African-American and urban voters far more powerfully than the suburban congressmen, Pallone and Holt.

In the Republican Special Primary, former GOP gubernatorial candidate Steve Lonegan and newcomer Dr. Aleita Eck of Piscataway are expected to file their petitions in Trenton tomorrow.

Bayshore Tea Party co-flounders Barbara Gonzalez and Bob Gordon, former State Senate candidate Leigh-Ann Bellew and former Assembly candidate Edna Walsh announced their endorsement of Eck on Sunday evening.  Bellew and Walsh lost the GOP primary in the 13th Legislative District last week by a 80-20 margin, with the support of the Bayshore Tea Party.

Posted: June 9th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Pallone, Rush Holt, Senate Special Election, Sheila Oliver | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

FDU Public Mind Poll is bad news for Frank Pallone and the politicos who want to replace him

The hopes of Middlesex and Monmouth County mayors, freeholders and legislators hoping to move to Washington in early 2015 as the newly elected representive of the 6th Congressional district were set back a bit this morning by a new FDU Public Mind Poll that shows Newark Mayor Cory Booker dominating the Democratic field to replace Senator Frank Lautenberg.

Congressman Frank Pallone has been considered Booker’s main competition for the 2014 Democratic U.S. Senate nomination among the media and political establishment.  However,  12th District Congressman Rush Holt has almost twice the support among self identified Democrats than Pallone does, according the FDU survey.

FDU surveyed its respondents cable news viewing habits, polling the trustworthiness of CNN, FoxNews and MSNBC.  Given Holt’s surprising showing, they should have surveyed how many of their respondents are Jeopardy fans.  Holt is famous for being a five time Jeopardy winner and beating IBM’s supercomputer, “Watson,” on the TV trivia game show.

Booker leads the Democratic U.S. Senate field with 50% support. Pallone got only 4% and Holt 7%. 32% of the respondents are unsure and are probably Wheel of Fortune fans.

Frank Pallone aged 30 years

Frank Pallone aged 30 years

Unless Booker becomes incapacitated running into fire, shoveling snow, or leaping a tall building in a single bound, Pallone is likely to remain in the House of Representatives until he’s Launtenberg’s age.

Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornik, former Edison Mayor Jun Choi and Carteret Mayor Dan Reiman best hopes for becoming a congressman is if Gerald Rivera manages to beat Booker next year in the general election and then Pallone beating Rivera in 2020. But that is not much of a hope, as FDU says Booker will beat Geraldo 52%-21%.

Posted: March 13th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2014 U.S. Senate race, Cory Booker, FDU Public Mind Poll, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Geraldo Rivera, Pallone, Rush Holt | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

A Case For Competitive Congressional Districts

By Art Gallagher

Giving credit where it is do, The Asbury Park Press Editorial Board got one right in their recent editorial lamenting the closure of Fort Monmouth’s commissary.  They give a quick summary of the disaster the closure of Fort Monmouth is and how the entire BRAC decision to close the fort was based on faulting economic and home security data.

Fort Monmouth’s closure and the move of its operations to Aberdeen Maryland was a huge waste of money that compromised national security.  An investigative series by Asbury Park Press reporters Bill Bowman and Keith Brown (which is no longer linkable) documented the waste and fraudulent numbers that BRAC gave Congress to justify the closure.

In their editorial, The Asbury Park Press accurately lays the blame:

The closing of the base was based on faulty economic and security research in the first place, and yet even with the facts on their side, Reps Frank Pallone and Rush Holt, along with Sens. Lautenberg and Menendez could not carry the day.

That is largely due to the fact that the faulty economic and security data was uncovered by Bowman and Brown after Congress had already voted to close the fort.  Pallone, Holt, Lautenberg and Menendez didn’t have the juice to uncover that data before or during the BRAC hearings when it might have made a difference.  Worse, the didn’t have the juice needed with their congressional colleagues to keep the fort in New Jersey.  Maryland’s delegation had the juice.

This latest insulting failure is just one in a decades, maybe centuries, long example of ineffective congressional representation from New Jersey.  Not just Pallone, Holt, Lautenberg and Menendez, but most of the delegation. Every two years during congressional elections challengers complain that New Jersey only gets a fraction of the money we send to Washington sent back, but it never changes.  Has there ever been a House Speaker from New Jersey?  Name on U.S. Senator from New Jersey who could be considered a historic figure.

As Monmouth University pollster Patrick Murray indicated during his interview on the LaRossa and Gallagher Radio Show two weeks ago, New Jersey Congressmen have little incentive to represent the interests or philosophies of their constituents.  They vote how ever they want and work on, or don’t work on, whatever they want without regard for the good of their constituents because no matter what they do, their jobs are safe.  Historically, gerrymandering as assured that an incumbent member of congress will be reelected time after time except in the rarest or circumstances.

A competitive congressional district map could go a long way to improving the quality of representation New Jersey gets from the people we send to Washington.  Currently, Congressmen face no consequences for failures like the BRACing of Fort Monmouth.  Despite the rants of congressional challengers every two years about the about of money that New Jersey sends to Washington vs the amount of money that comes back, that situation never changes and our representitives have little incentive to work to change it.

If competitive congressional elections were the norm, rather than a rare exception, New Jersey would get better representation and better results.

New Jersey’s Redistricting Commission has a huge opportunity to create an environment that could lead to an major improvement in the quality of our representation in Washington over the next decade.  If past is prelude, the Democrats and Republicans on the commission will spend the process jockeying for influence with the “13th tie breaking” member.  The commission will predictably produce a winning map for one party which will be a losing map for the other party. 

For New Jersey to have a “winning map” would require at least one party to propose a competitive map based upon population and geography only without regard for the residency of incumbents or the historical voting trends of residents, and for the “13th member,” former Attorney General and Acting Governor for ninety minutes, John Farmer Jr, to do the right thing.

Otherwise, it won’t really matter much which party “wins” the redistricting battle.  New Jersey’s representation in Washington will not likely improve if the people will send there have little incentive to work for it.

By the way, Lautenberg and Pallone are scheduled to make a “surprise announcement” in Belmar tomorrow. 

Pray for rain. 

Maybe Lautenberg is announcing his retirement and endorsing Pallone to replace him.  Not likely, but one can hope.

More likely they will announce some legislation they are sponsoring that will probably never become law or some appropriation they are proposing or maybe even secured that will not have nearly postive impact on New Jersey that the negative impact that the closure of Fort Monmouth will have.

Posted: August 16th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Congress, Congressional Redistricting, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, LaRossa and Gallagher, Patrick Murray, Redistricting, Rush Holt | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Rush Holt Laments Debt Reduction

By Art Gallagher

Congressman Rush Holt (D-NJ) sent the following message in an email to his constituents this afternoon:

Right now, the United States can borrow money essentially for free.  In fact, 10-year Treasury bonds have a negative real yield.  That is, investors are lending the government money with a guarantee that, in a decade, the US will pay them back less in real dollars.  It seems that they are confident that the US is sound over the long term and that the much-decried debt is not the show-stopper some would have us believe.
Meanwhile, the US has tens of thousands of needed projects that would create jobs and produce a clear, positive return to taxpayers.  We need to repair crumbling roads and bridges and schools.  We need to modernize old buildings that are wasting taxpayer money on electricity, heating, and air conditioning.  It is not all construction projects, either.  We need to support private companies engaged in research and development.  More than anything we need economic growth now that will create jobs now. 
Yet last week with the debt ceiling deal Congress took the U.S. government out of the picture, saying in effect that the government will play no direct role in stimulating the economy or making jobs.  Not only does it prevent Congress from making these sure-thing investments, but it requires government to cut public services and eliminate jobs, and also to throw many states into destitution.
As the public and policymakers come to recognize the deal’s devastating effects on our economy and our people, I hope we will begin to work around its restraints.  Yet until that happens, we must do everything possible to create jobs in ways that do not require federal spending.
The Senate, for instance, can pass patent-reform legislation that the House passed earlier this year to encourage inventors to create new products.  The president has proposed an idea to restore health to the housing market by encouraging investors to turn foreclosed homes into rental properties.  Congress could also establish an infrastructure bank that would offer low-interest loans to cities and states to invest in public works (but that would take start-up funds).
Let me be clear:  measures like these are somewhat indirect and will not be as effective as direct job creation, yet they can be beneficial, and for as long as Congress maintains its self-imposed shackles, they may be the best we can do.

Hmmm, I’m not a rocket scientist, but it seems to me that a negative real yield to investors who buy our debt is not a good thing, for several reasons:

1) It is a sign that investors are not confident enough in the economy to make private sector investments.  Investors are essentially betting that they will lose less by investing in Treasuries that they will if they buy private equity, private debt or commodities.

2) Other than Treasuries, the other “safe” investment over the last few years has been gold. Investors may be realizing that gold is overvauled.  Now that gold is being advertised on cable-TV like buying real estate with no money down used to be advertised, it is a good bet that the burst of the gold bubble is in sight.  When the market wakes up to the fact that the value of gold as a holder of value is perceived and not based upon the demand for the uses of gold, there will be weeping and nashing of teeth.  Investors buying Treasuries at a negative yield now are betting that gold is no longer safe.  Good bet.

3) The negative yield that Holt talks about is a lot more negative than he thinks.  When inflation inevitably kicks in due to all the money that the government has borrowed and spent, and all the money that the Federal Reserve continues to print, the dollar that pays off those 10 year Treasuries in 2021 is going to be worth a great deal less that the dollar borrowed and spent today.

We’re in for a very very long haul of difficult economic times.   Rush Holt doesn’t get that.

Posted: August 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Rush Holt | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

Drinking With Democrats

Our friends at Politickernj have gone old school in the new media age.   They are using a long abandoned journalistic tool to find out what their subjects are really thinking:  Alcohol.

Last week Max Pizarro got some tipsy Democrats to reveal what they really think of President Obama:

“But I’m at the point with Barack Obama where I don’t like him,” the source added – then whispering under the bar buzz – “I hate him.” 

“He’s not a leader,” a second high-powered Democrat groaned. “Say what you want about Christie, but he knows how to wield power. Barack doesn’t.”  

“He’s very thin-skinned,” said the source. “He can’t deal with criticism, that’s why he’s going to Africa with his family on a safari. Is he nuts? A safari in this economy?”  

The Democrats Pizarro drank with think Obama is still a lock to win New Jersey’s 14 electoral college votes handily next year.    That is the conventional thinking.  However, I bet those same Democrats thought in 2008 that the equally disliked Jon Corzine was a lock for reelection.

Turning their attention to New Jersey gubernatorial politics, Politickernj’s Back Room got blank stares from two “Democratic Party bigshots” drinking on condition of anonymity when asked to speculate who would challenge Governor Christie in 2013.

Newark Mayor Corey Booker?  “Newark is too much of a wreck,” and “his time has come and gone.”  Congressman Bill Pascrell?  Would have been great “ten years ago.”   Senator Barbara Buono?  “We need someone outside of Trenton,” like Christie was in 2009.

Looking outside of Trenton, the drinking Democrats see Congressmen Frank Pallone and Rush Holt:

“If Frank gets banged up in redistrcting he may be the best guy to do it,” said the first source. “He’d be ticked enough, angry enough, he could easily unite the progressive wing of the party. He’s got the money. Obviously, he has no strong friends among the bosses. That could be a problem. The question goes to whether he would want to be governor. I’ve always heard his primary interest is senator.”

MMM hereby throws its unequivocal support behind Pallone for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2013.  We’d love to see him get “banged up” in redistricting….like putting Long Branch into Chris Smith’s district…setting up a race between the two most senior members of the New Jersey congressional delegation that Smith would win easily, assuming Pallone chose to compete.   Given the choice of running against Smith for congress or retiring and launching a gubernatorial bid, we think Pallone would challenge Christie.  After losing his first statewide race against Christie, Pallone could launch his 2014 U.S. Senate campaign, assuming Frank Lautenberg retires again.

Holt for Governor?   We hope those guys had a designated driver.

“Yes, I admit he’s not the world’s greatest speaker, but he’s gotten better,” said the second source. “Plus, he’s a good campaigner. Rolls up his sleeves. He gets it. He realized he had a legitimate challenge from Scott Sipprelle (last year), and he rose to the occasion.”

Posted: July 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: 2012 Presidential Politics, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, Chris Christie, Chris Smith, Congressional Redistricting, Cory Booker, Frank Lautenberg, NJ Democrats, Pallone, Rush Holt | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Gooch would challenge Pallone or Holt

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.

Posted: June 12th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Diane Gooch, Frank Pallone, Rush Holt | Tags: , , | 5 Comments »

Could Pallone Be A Redistricting Target?

By Art Gallagher

The Star Ledger’s Auditor  is raising the question. 

The members of the Redistricting Commission must be appointed by June 15.   The Auditor says he/she was told that Democratic State Chairman John Wisniewski plans to void the appointment of Belmar resident Maggie Moran to the commission.  Moran, former Governor Corzine’s deputy chief of staff and campaign manager, was appointed to the commission by former Chairman Joe Cryan, at Pallone’s urging, as one of Cryan’s last acts before turning the chairmanship over to Wisniewski.

Moran, who is the wife of Belmar Mayor Matt Doherty, is supposed to be Pallone’s eyes and ears on the commission.   Her removal would be a blow to Pallone, according to The Auditor, this year in particular as New Jersey is losing a congressional district.  One incumbent congressman will lose his job regardless of the electoral outcome.  The Auditor implies that Democratic boss George Norcross and Republican Governor Chris Christie would like that incumbent to be Pallone.

How would that work?

220px-nj_109th_congressional_districts_shaded_by_partyPallone’s 6th district borders the 4th, 7th, 12th and 13th districts.  He resides in Long Branch which is in the south east coastal part of the district.

While it is entirely possible in New Jersey that a gerrymandered district that includes Long Branch of Monmouth County could be combined with Clinton Township in Hunterdon County, home of 7th district Republican Congressman Leonard Lance or West New York, Hudson County, home of 13th district Democratic Congressman Albio Sires, neither scenario is likely.

Combining Pallone’s 6th with Rush Holt’s 12th would make sense based on geography as the 12th shares the largest border with the 6th.  Even though neither Pallone or Holt is particularly well liked by Democratic leaders in New Jersey or Washington, it is unlikely that the Democrats would surrender a district without a fight. 

Which would leave a match up between New Jersey’s two most senior congressmen, Pallone who has been in Congress since 1988 and 4th district Congressman Republican Chris Smith who has served since 1981.  While it would be unusual that seniority be discarded as an incumbent protection consideration during a redistricting battle, an argument could be made along the lines of “continuity of representation.”  Pallone first went to Congress as the representative of the 3rd district after the death of Congressman James Howard.  Much of the pre-1992 3rd district is now part of the 4th.

Even with his $4 million war chest, it is hard to imagine Pallone beating Smith in a combined district that includes southeast Monmouth and portions of Republican Ocean and Burlington counties.  Smith would dominate in his Mercer home turf.

Pallone vs. Smith would be a great race.  It probably won’t happen.  I’ll explain why at the end of this piece.  But first let’s have some fun speculating about the fallout of such a district.

If Long Branch and Pallone are moved south into a district combined with portions of Smith’s (of Hamilton in Mercer County) 4th district,  it would make sense that the Northern Monmouth portions of the present 6th district would be folded into the Rush Holt’s 12th district.  

That would create an interesting race for the GOP nomination in the 12th.  Diane Gooch, Mike Halfacre, Anna Little, and Scott Sipprelle could all be contenders for that nomination.

Little beat Gooch for the 6th district nomination primary by 83 votes before losing to Pallone by 11% in the 2010 general election.  She declared that a loss of only 11% was a victory and launched her 2012 race against Pallone in the weirdest election night concession speech ever.   Since election night 2010 Little has alienated herself from both her local Tea Party and establishment GOP supporters.  She’s chomping at the bit for a rematch with both Gooch and Pallone, but she’s referred to as a “coo coo bird” by former supporters.  A Pallone-Smith match up would wreck havoc on her delusions.   Only Little, her family and Larry Cirignano, her escort/handler/manager/driver/tenant, believe Anna Little will ever be nominated for congress again.

Halfacre, the Mayor of Fair Haven, has been kicking himself for bowing out of the race for the 12th district nomination since Tea Party candidate David Corsi beat Sipprelle in Monmouth County in the 2010 primary.  Sipprelle won the nomination by virtue of his margin of victory in Mercer, Middlesex, Somerset and Hunterdon before losing to Holt by 7% in the general. 

Halfacre was the Tea Party favorite during his contentious race against Sipprelle for the party lines in 2010. Sipprelle won all the county party lines and Halfacre correctly concluded that a primary against Sipprelle without at least the Monmouth or Middlesex lines was not winnable.  Corsi’s Monmouth victory naturally lead to “what ifs?”  Little’s narrow victory over Gooch created additional “what ifs?”

But the self funding Sipprelle did not spend any money to defeat Corsi.   Gooch took victory over Little for granted in the primary.   Given how contentious the Sipprelle-Halfacre county conventions/screenings were, it is likely that a primary between to two would have been bloody and expensive.  Halfacre couldn’t have matched Sipprelle’s money.

Halfacre would have a heavy lift to regain his Tea Party support.  If either Gooch or Sipprelle seek the nomination, he would have a heavier lift to raise the money necessary to compete.  After Little’s victory in the 2010 primary, it will be a long time before any candidate or county party organization takes a Tea Party challenge for granted.  Halfacre’s best hope for a nomination against Holt is for both Gooch and Sipprelle to conclude that 2012, a presidential year with Obama leading the ticket, is not the year to take on Holt.   

Both Gooch and Sipprelle are staying in front of the party faithful.  Gooch with Strong New Jersey and Sipprelle with the Lincoln Club of New Jersey, organizations each has founded since losing their respective races.  Gooch has been open about wanting to run for congress again, depending on how the districts are drawn.  Sipprelle has been coy about a future candidacy.

A Gooch-Sipprelle primary defies imagination.  Given the money both could spend on such a race, a deal would likely be brokered by the state and county party chairmen before it would occur.  But if ego got the better of either of them, it would be quite a race.   A more sensible sceanario would be for one of the millionaires to take on U.S . Senator Robert Menendez while the other takes on Holt.  

So while redistricting Pallone and Smith into the same district could make the Republican nomination contest in the Holt’s district more interesting, a Pallone-Smith battle is unlikely even should a district be drawn that way.  Should such a district be drawn look for Pallone to retire from the House and use his hefty war chest as a down payment for a statewide race for Governor in 2013.

Pallone’s $4 million war chest would clear the field of Democratic candidates for Governor, unless Chris Christie isn’t a candidate or has anemic poll numbers, neither of which is likely.  Christie would love to defeat Pallone, which he would but it would probably be a close race.  Pallone would then run for U.S. Senate in 2014, assuming Frank Lautenberg finally retires.

Posted: June 5th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Anna Little, Chris Christie, Chris Smith, Diane Gooch, Frank Pallone, Lincoln Club, Mike Halfacre, Pallone, Redistricting, Robert Menendez, Rush Holt, Scott Sipprelle, Strong New Jersey, Tea Party | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »