According to a report in PolitckerNJ, Assemblywoman Connie Wagner has decided not to run against Scott Garrett for Congress here in the 5th District.
While I would have loved to have seen Wagner run for a number of reasons, it seemed to me (just my gut feeling from some discussions and observations I had) that others were more enthusiastic about her running than she may have been. This is no knock against her – it is a huge undertaking and commitment to run for Congress, and Garrett has been known to play dirty against his opponents (recall he smeared former opponent and Rabbi Dennis Shulman as anti-Israel).
This creates a void in terms of big name NJ politicos who can raise the attention and money required to mount a successful run against a very well-funded Garrett. Whether this was in the works for a while, whether this clears the way for former NY Giant Harry Carson to make a run (which has a lot of appeal as well as some potential hurdles), or whether it opens the door for a primary fight among a number of already-declared other candidates remains to be seen.
Either way, this decision by Assemblywoman Wagner to not run (if confirmed) is too bad as it would have brought a different and more high profile seasoned politician to challenge Garrett with more built in and coordinated support from the Democratic Committee of Bergen County. Hopefully, whoever emerges as the challenger will receive coordinated support that will be needed up and down the ballot – especially with the Presidential and Senatorial races this coming year. It is a big opportunity for Democrats in Bergen County and hopefully it isn’t a missed opportunity.