Senator Bob Menendez, left, and Congressman Frank Pallone, making like chimpmunks at the 2012 Belmar St. Patrick’s parade. Photo credit Charles Measley
First of all, Senator Bob Menendez might not even be indicted. Leaks out of the Justice Department have been notoriously unreliable since Chris Christie resigned as U.S. Attorney in 2008.
If Menendez is indicted, he probably will not resign. In his press conference this evening, the Senator defiantly insisted on the “appropriateness and lawfulness” of his relationship with Dr. Salomon Melgen, the Florida ophthalmologist who is Menendez’s friend and benefactor. He declared that he is not going anywhere.
If, as CNN speculates, Menendez is charged with corruption this month, it could be Halloween before he goes to trial. Former Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell was indicted in January of 2014. His trial didn’t start until late July and didn’t end to early September. Unless Menendez makes a deal to avoid prosecution that includes his resignation, there is not likely to be a Special Election to fill the Senate seat until next year….2016, the year of the next presidential election.
If Chris Christie is still Governor in 2016 and Menendez’s seat becomes vacant, he will get to choose the next Senator and set the date a special election. There could be a mid-year Special Election or the Special Election could be on the same day as the presidential election. There’s no way to know now what is likely to happen.
Still, the prospect of a Senatorial vacancy stirs speculation and the phone lines among both Democrats and Republicans have been burning this afternoon since the news of the
possible prosecution broke.
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Posted: March 6th, 2015 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: Bob Menendez | Tags: Bob Menendez, Brian Goldberg, Caroline Casagrande, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Donald Norcross, Doug Forrester, Frank Pallone, Jay Webber, Jeff Bell, Jeff Chiesa, Joe Kyrillos, John Crowley, Jon Bramnick, Kim Guadagno, Phil Murphy, Rich Pezzullo, Rush Holt, Scott Sipprelle, Steve Fulop, Steve Sweeney, Tom Kean JR, Tom MacArthur, Woody Johnson | 4 Comments »
Now that Newark Mayor Cory Booker has taken himself out the the gubernatorial race, everyone expects him to run for Frank Lautenberg’s U. S. Senate seat in 2014. A recent poll indicated that Booker would easily beat Lautenberg in a Democratic primary should the 88 year old senator make another run.
That hasn’t stopped Congressman Frank Pallone from calling Democratic County Chairs to remind them that he is still interested in the Senate seat he has long coveted but never had the guts to fight for.
Pallone best shot at becoming a Senator came and went in 2002 when he declined Governor Jim McGreevey’s offer to replace the disgraced Senator Robert Torricelli on the ballot against Doug Forrester. McGreevey brought Frank Lautenberg out of retirement and got the State Supreme Court to rewrite New Jersey’s election law so the switch could be made after the statutory deadline. The polls showing Forrester beating Toricelli scared Pallone off from giving up a easy victory in CD-6 in favor of his dream job in the Senate.
Lautenberg went on to clobber Forrester in 2002 and was elected again in 2008.
Pallone was passed over for the Senate in 2006 when Governor Jon Corzine chose Bob Menendez to replace him in the Senate. Menendez won his own term that November and was reelected last month. He is on the verge of becoming the Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.
Pallone clearly wants to be a Senator, but his history indicates that he doesn’t have the fortitude to risk his cushy lifestyle as a congressman in order to fight for his dream. I hope he grows a pair and goes for it, because the race to replace him in the 6th Congressional District would be great for blog traffic.
WHO WOULD RUN FOR PALLONE’S CD-6 SEAT IF IT WAS VACANT?
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Posted: December 20th, 2012 | Author: Art Gallagher | Filed under: 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: Anna Little, Barbara Buono, Bob Menendez, Chris Christie, Cory Booker, Dan Reiman, Dick Codey, Doug Forrester, Ed Johnson, Ernesto Cullari, Frank Lautenberg, Frank Pallone, Jim McGreevey, John McCormick, John Wisniewski, Jon Corzine, Jon Hornik, Jun Choi, Steve Sweeney, Tony Fiore, Vin Gopal | 4 Comments »