The Daily Journal provides future relief from Forresteritis (a rare disease that infects political campaigns with negative ads, falsehoods, and empty promises).
Doug Forrester’s loss Tuesday spells the end of his ability to run as a statewide candidate, political analysts said.
“I think that his future in terms of elective statewide politics is over,” said Carl Golden, a top adviser to two former Republican governors, Tom Kean and Christie Whitman.
“This is the second time he won a contested primary of his party and the second time he lost statewide,” Golden said. “It would be very difficult to come back and run for statewide office. And there is an economic element: How much more of his own money would he be willing to spend on yet another statewide race?”
Opting out of the state’s public financing program, which provides taxpayer aid to candidates who agree to cap spending in gubernatorial races, Forrester, 52, a West Windsor businessman, spent over $30 million from his own pocket to run for governor.
The self-funding of his gubernatorial bid came three years after he spent $7.5 million on an unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate in 2002, when Democrat U.S. Sen. Robert Torricelli was replaced late in the race by Sen. Frank Lautenberg.
In addition, Forrester spent $1.4 million on advertising last year through a political action committee that primarily bashed then-CBS anchor Dan Rather, plus over $780,000 more in political donations to federal and state GOP campaign accounts.
David Rebovich, a political scientist at Rider University, said Forrester is not likely to find support inside his own party for another statewide run — which, in New Jersey, means running for governor or U.S. Senate.
Forrester’s only experience in elected office was nearly two decades ago. He was on the West Windsor township committee for four years, including two years as mayor in 1981 and 1982.