Tag Archive: Adam Gussen

McQueeny Regrets He’s Unable To Run Today

In the roller coaster world of Democratic candidates for the 5th CD, Matt Friedman, State House Bureau, reports today that Jim McQueeny has abruptly cancelled his plan to run. Yesterday afternoon an event in Oradell was announced for this Sunday to launch his campaign.  McQueeny now says, “The suddenness of the opportunity, with events propelled further by the enthusiastic response to it, just didn’t allow for the proper time for me and my business partners to transition the work of our company’s customers.” He now joins Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) and NFL legend Harry Carson who said they were considering a candidacy but later removed themselves from consideration.

Amidst the disarray presented to the county Democratic committees, there remain three candidates. Deputy Teaneck Mayor Adam Gussen, who appears to have gained little traction or support, is on the Bergen County Democratic Committee endorsement ballot (as was McQueeny) for its meeting scheduled for March 15. Passaic County Freeholder Director Terry Duffy, who has never formally removed himself from the campaign, did not obtain necessary signatures to be on the ballot. Duffy had said he expected McQueeny to enter the race and win the Bergen Democratic endorsement, at which 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 who has never run for political office.

Whoever will ultimately run against incumbent Representative Scott Garrett will face a number of challenges – one of which is money. With  campaign expenditures in each cycle continuing to increase exponentially, cash matters and particularly so in this expensive media market where the  challenger is running against a long-time, entrenched incumbent. As Vice Chair of the House Budget Committee, Garrett is a natural recipient of financial largesse. In the 2011-12 cycle he started out with $861,000 in Beginning Cash. He added $671,000 in Individual Contributions, $150 in Party Committee Contributions (not very impressive) and  $525,000 in PAC or Other Contributions (impressive.)  As of December 31, 2011, of all incumbents in nearby districts Garrett has the largest amount of Cash On Hand: $1,712,000. In comparison: Rothman (D-09): $1,704,000, Pascrell (D- currently in 08 but running in 09): $1,496,000, Payne (D-10): $1,411,000, Lance (R-07): $513,000, Frelinghuysen (R-11): $440,000, and Sires (D-13): $234,000). In the 5th CD no other candidate reported any Cash On Hand as of December 31, 2011.

In the Cole Porter song alluded to in the title of this diary, Miss Otis feels it’s her personal responsibility to inform her host that she will not be able to attend the event. Curiously, in the case of McQueeny’s candidacy, he himself has been largely mum, allowing his plans to maybe run, then to run, and today not to run to be announced through third parties or the press.  

Jim McQueeny To The Rescue?

After a long drought in which Assemblywoman Connie Wagner (D-Bergen) and former NFL star Harry Carson considered and then rejected a run against Republican Representative Scott Garrett in the 5th Congressional District, we now hear news that another worthy opponent may enter the fray. Although not yet a formal candidate, Mahwah resident Jim McQueeny is considering  a run. McQueeny has the chops. He brings extensive political experience, an articulate voice, support for progressive issues, name recognition, state-wide contacts, and a quiet but persuasive manner. He also has a sense of humor as seen in this amusing take on politics in Trenton. In fair disclosure I was ejected from the 9th CD and jettisoned into 5th and have met and talked with McQueeny in the past. He brings the skills to succeed – to deliver us from the wilderness that Garrett imposed on this district, to support programs that truly benefit his constituents, and to add another Democratic voice to the U.S. Congress.  

He would have the support of the newly transplanted Democrats in the 5th CD. More importantly, with his past experience as a Star Ledger news reporter and Channel 12 TV host, he understands and can address the concerns of many constituents who might otherwise vote for Garrett.  As head of Winning Strategies, his public relations and lobbying firm, he has learned how to be effective in dealing with those who initially might not be supportive of what he seeks. As a former Chief of Staff of Senator Frank Lautenberg he was an effective spokesman for this progressive senator but also one who understood the issues on the other side of the aisle.

As of now Passaic County Freeholder Terry Duffy and Teaneck Deputy Mayor Adam Gussen have expressed interest in running on the Democratic slate, but it is Jim McQueeny who would bring the winning strategies.

CD-5: Teaneck’s Adam Gussen to run against Scott Garrett

Since New Jersey was redistricted late last month, leaving the state with one less congressional district and a volatile, unsettled Democratic Party beginning what looks to be an ugly primary contest between Bill Pascrell and Steve Rothman, focus has been on the 9th, the district Rothman declined to run in.

That leaves the 5th an open question; who will challenge  Tea Party darling Scott Garrett?

Connie Wagner appears to have strong and broad support. Among other names, incoming Assemblyman Tim Eustace was early talked up but has since signed on to the (437-member) Draft Connie Wagner for Congress facebook page. Also mulling it over (or being urged in by supporters) are Passaic Freeholder Terry Duffy, Se. Bob Gordon, the victor in November’s most hotly contested race, and (wild card!) NFL Hall of Famer Harry Carson.

Adam GussenAdam Gussen, Teaneck’s Deputy Mayor, is the first to make it official, formally announcing he’s in. In the reconfigured 5th, most of reliably-Democratic Teaneck landed in the 5th (it had been Rothman territory).

I don’t know much about Gussen, except that 3 years when he was a councilman ago he filed to primary Valerie Huttle and Gordon Johnson, who serve LD-37 with Sen. Loretta Weinberg, and then dropped out.

Bergen folks, I’d be interested to know your impressions of Gussen and how strong he might be against Garrett.