Update: The Star Ledger reported this afternoon Jim McQueeny will announce he is seeking the Democratic nomination to run against Republican Rep. Scott Garrett in the 5th Congressional District on Sunday at an event in Oradell.
Suspense continues to build over who will run against ultraconservative Representative Scott Garrett in the 5th Congressional District. Jim McQueeny has not yet formally entered the fray, but he and Deputy Teaneck Mayor Adam Gussen will be on the Bergen County endorsement ballot at its March 15 convention. Bergen County has the largest number of registered voters in the CD, which also includes parts of Sussex, Warren and Passaic. Sussex County Democrats will next meet on March 22 and Warren County Democrats on April 7.
According to the New Jersey Herald, Passaic County Freeholder Director Terry Duffy, who has not formally removed himself from the campaign, has just said he expects McQueeny will enter the race and win the Bergen Democratic endorsement at its March 15 convention, and at that point, Duffy would be a “team player” and exit the race.
Entering too late to be on the ballot is 30-year old Jason (J Paul) Castle, a Marine Corps veteran and current information technology executive. On his facebook page Castle says he is a moderate Democrat who grew up in Rahway. He lives in Cliffside Park and says he plans to move to Teaneck. He has never run for political office.
Jim McQueeny who recently removed himself as host of Cablevision’s News 12 “Power and Politics” show, is Chairman of Winning Strategies, a public relations firm that specializes in corporate communications, issues campaign management, grasroots mobilization, and healthcare PR. He worked on President Carter’s 1980 re-election campaign, served as Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s chief of staff and spokesman, and served as communications director for Democrats in the state Assembly. See here for more information on McQueeny.
In the meantime Republican Rep. Scott Garrett holds a substantial warchest as he seeks re-election in the redistricted 5th. As Vice Chairman of the House Budget Committee, he is busy promoting limited government, lower taxes and other items on the Tea Party and far-right agenda. On a scale of 0 to 100 the American Conservative Union has granted him a lifetime rating of 100. The Americans for Democratic Action in 2010 granted him a 5. The National Right to Life over the past years has rated him at 91 to 100 and Planned Parenthood consistently at 0.