On primary night, Governor Christie was supposedly on his way to Gooch headquarters when results began to suggest he should take the victory party elsewhere. At that point a decision was made to drop in on Jon Runyan in Mount Laurel who was getting ready to celebrate his less-than-overwhelming victory.
Far be it for me to give anybody advice, but if I were Runyan’s handlers I might call on the Governor to do all the talking in this race. Perhaps Christie can run for Congress in the 3rd while simultaneously running the state. After all, he is very popular in the district ( perhaps at an all-time high ), and the Governor is a natural campaigner. Adler will no doubt be a tough opponent, but I think Christie can beat him.
I’m sort of kidding here obviously, but The Christie factor is going to be significant in three races this Fall that are worth noting. The other two are in Bergen and Mercer Counties: The Bergen County Exec. race and the Senate race in the 14th. Let’s start with the latter.
I did a profile of this race recently. It’s for Baroni’s old seat, Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein for the Dems versus Tom Goodwin the sitting Senator for the Repubs. Anyway, a Democrat approached me after the story aired to break my you-know-whats for making the race too much of a microcosm for what is going on statewide. Greenstein’s district includes a good number of public employees. People like Barbara Kershisian and Charlie Wowkanech were at her rollout. She is definitely going to run standing with the unions. And Goodwin is definitely going to stick with the Governor who is taking on those same unions. Like it or not, that race will be a good barometer of where people are after the Christie budget goes through…because the 14th is most certainly a swing.
I haven’t been paying too much attention to the Bergen race, but it is also interesting as the Governor’s shadow looms large. Kathe Donovan was reportedly on the short list for LT Gov. but she did not get it…just in case you have been living in cave. On Mars. With your eyes closed. And and your fingers in your ears ( not my joke, actually – credit Sideshow Bob’s brother Cecil from an episode of the The Simpsons ) . So, the Governor appears to be eager to try and help her win this race. Donovan is a strong candidate. And a few weeks ago, I would have told you she will do so with ease, but now I am not so sure.
The conventional wisdom was that Dennis McNerney was a machine guy who could not stand on his own, but now that Joe Ferriero is out of the picture, McNerney is actually emerging as a better candidate without him. Besides, he has brought in some Corzine people who are eager to get another crack at trying to beat Christie.
So, these three races will, in my mind, be telling about where people are on Christie’s policies. Whoever said all politics is local? That is not always the case in New Jersey with it’s strong, centralized state government.