1. Senator Barbara Buono, the only declared Democratic candidate for Governor. Senator Buono was out early and has earned the organization support she’s been given so far. Senator Buono did not wait for an “invitation to the dance”. She joined the field on her own. She’s smart, articulate and experienced. She is a great spokesperson for our shared progressive values. And wouldn’t it be great to have a woman candidate for Governor in our party. (The first?)
2. Congressman Bill Pascrell, a great feisty Congressman who is a champion campaigner. People relate to him. He’s down to earth and really speaks for the “least” among us. Did anyone see him go up against the Tea Party folks in the fight for federal Sandy aide? He was great! However, Congressman Pascrell has just come through a very hard fought primary and a tough November campaign. Though he’d make a really great candidate for us, no one would blame him for deciding to stay in Congress to continue to fight the extremists in the House.
3. Senate President Steve Sweeney would get terrific support from the building trade unions, and many county organizations. He’s worked hard to bring our Senate majority together and has stood up to Governor Christie in his attempt to take over the Supreme Court. He garnered the votes to get Marriage Equality through the Senate and he’s been a champion of the minimum wage increase for working folks and the expansion of medicaid to give more New Jerseyans health coverage. But many think we need him to stay in the Senate to help maintain Democratic majorities in the Legislature. We can’t let New Jersey to turn in to a “Right to Work” state.
So there you have it. Senator Richard Codey out Mayor Cory Booker out! And two more guys still being romanced by some leaders in our party. I would guess we will know by the middle of this week before that Chamber train pulls out of Newark on its way to DC. Once the party coalesces behind our Democratic candidate, we will have hard work ahead of us. We’ll have to help raise funds for the candidate for Governor and for our legislative candidates in the more competitive districts.
We must all be up to that hard job. We have many reasons to be in the fight. Jobs, property taxes, marriage equality, the Supreme Court, minimum wages, health care access for women and for working poor, gun safety, government transparency and accountability, and much more. I look forward to seeing this resolved in the coming days.
Thanks to Mayor Jeremiah Healy, to Mandi Perlmutter of the newly constituted Million Moms 4 Gun Safety, to Kay LiCausi and many others for the rally held Saturday morning in Jersey City. Thousands marched in Washington and we in New Jersey rallied for sensible gun safety too. Lots of leaders spoke at our rally from former Governor Jim Florio to Congressman Frank Pallone to Speaker Sheila Oliver along with other legislators, Mayors and Council folks. It was cold, but worth the frozen feet to participate with those great people. I particularly enjoyed Governor Jim Florio who won the John F. Kennedy Award for his leadership in getting the assault weapon ban in New Jersey and for his veto of the then Republican majority’s attempt to rescind that ban.
Let’s not go back to those days!