It’s not Election Day yet. But we have a winner. Not in the presidential election, but in the 2017 New Jersey gubernatorial election. Former Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy has successfully cleared the Democratic field and has been anointed by the media as the likely winner. Senate President Steve Sweeney and Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop have both dropped out. Senator Ray Lesniak has posted on his Facebook page that he will formally announce his candidacy after this November’s election, and Assemblyman John Wisniewski has formed an exploratory committee. But with Murphy’s early start and collection of endorsements from local officials and power brokers (except for the South Jersey kingpin), if nothing dramatic changes, Murphy has the nomination.
I don’t know that much about Murphy. From what I’ve seen, he’s a solid progressive Democrat whom I could easily get behind and vote for. But the election is over a year away. No wonder normal voters (that is, people who don’t read this blog) have politics fatigue.
Can we at least go back to the days when we were concerned with only one election at a time? Or better yet, have a moratorium on electioneering until after the start of the year in which the election is held?
Republicans are no better. Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli has already announced his 2017 bid, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno has been making moves for a run, and I would expect to see Assemblyman Jon Bramnick transform his stand-up comedy schtick into an election speech.
My message to people on both sides of the aisle: Let us enjoy the Thanksgiving, Christmas, Chanukah, and Kwanza holidays unfettered by electoral sniping and positioning. Come back in 2017, and you’ll have plenty of time to inundate us with your flyers, pronouncements, and television ads. And it will give us time to watch Mike Pence, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz start to position themselves for a challenge to Hillary Clinton’s second term.