Tag Archive: viola thomas hughes

LoBiondo’s Credible Challenger

One notable news story that happened during the Andrews announcement and subsequent Lautenberg-Andrews fallout was that a somewhat unknown, but possibly formidable, opponent emerged at the last moment for Frank LoBiondo in NJ-02. David Kurkowski, a Cape May councilman, has made a late bid for LoBiondo’s congressional seat, and Democrats are clearing the slate for him to go mano-a-mano with the person who once pledged a six-term limit, then reneged. Kurkowsi has deep roots in Cape May, judging from his resume, his company, and his personal webpage, and he credits his environmental and preservation efforts as councilman as some of his best accomplishments:

In Cape May, Kurkowski has been a strong supporter of saving the historic Beach Theatre, refurbishing the Washington Street Mall, building a new convention center and getting wireless Internet.

In his first comments to the Press of Atlantic City, Kurkowski lays out a general strategy for the November election:

“I’m committed to peace and prosperity. I believe the wartime economy has had a tragic effect on our country. I lay a lot of blame on LoBiondo and his support of Bush and the war. I will be attacking him on many issues,”

This will work if voters pay close attention to LoBiondo’s actual stand and record on Iraq, stem cell research, and immigration – and if independent publications like Blue Jersey pick up the slack and force the press and papers to cover LoBiondo’s problematic record, as with what happened, for example when Blue Jersey began covering LoBiondo’s role in the Deepwater scandal in 2006.

Cumberland County, and other NJ-02 counties such as Atlantic Co., have cleared their party lines for Kurkowski, and CC Chair Lou Magazzu, who once ran unsuccessfully against LoBiondo, seems to be an unofficial advisor to Kurkowski. The two other candidates, Viola Thomas-Hughes, who ran a spirited, but resource-deficient, campaign in 2006, and another candidate, Bridgeton schoolteacher Celeste Riley, have both apparently cleared the way for Kurkowski.

Monday News Roundup, Open thread

  • New Jersey welcomed some heavy hitters from the US Senate to campaign on behalf of their respective party’s Senate candidate here in the state:  John McCain for Junior and Hillary Rodham Clinton for Bob Menendez.  Clinton and McCain are widely viewed as favorites for their party’s presidental nomination in 2008.  Stay tuned for that.
  • With all that’s riding on the outcome of the Senate race, it’s disconcerting that NJ’s the voting system is under scrutiny.  Aparently there’s a whole host of concerns ranging from less-than-competent poll workers, potential voter intimidation and (of course) the paperless electronic voting machines.
  • Speaking of the Senate campaign, the NY Times ran a piece this AM about Junior’s relative lack of real world experience.  It was once said that Junior “had never demonstrated any leadership skills beyond organizing a canoe trip down the length of the Danube River after graduating from Dartmouth.”  Judging from Baby Kean’s paltry legislative record in Trenton, that statement is still operative.
  • Switching to the House races, Viola Thomas-Hughes faces long odds to overcome incumbent Frank LoBiondo, but she insists she’s in it to win it.  Besides said Viola, “Just because someone has served for a long time doesn’t mean that person is unbeatable. While my opponent has been in Congress, we’ve seen tax breaks for the wealthy and no change in the minimum wage at the same time members of Congress are giving themselves a raise… . The poor and the working class are getting left behind.”

    I should add that Congressman Rob Andrews had nothing but kind words for Thomas-Hughes when I interviewed him for a podcast (available later today) noting that she has an articulate and progressive vision for her district.  No word yet if that endorsement from Andrews comes with finanical help, but Andrews is a team player and indicated his willingness to possibly assist Viola’s campaign (and Rich Sexton’s, as well) when we chatted on Friday.

  • On that front, Congressman Frank Pallone has the second biggest campaign warchest in the entire House of Representatives, a jaw dropping $3.1 million.  If my math is correct, Rep. Pallone could donate $100,000 to the DCCC on behalf of NJ candidates Stender, Gay, Sexton, Hughes, Wyka and Aronsohn and he’s still be just about the biggest endowed Congressman in Washington.  The mind reels, I’m sure.  Anyway, here’s what’s at stake for New Jeresy if Congress turns blue.
  • Switching gears, election season also means flu season.  Have you gotten your flu shot yet?  The last thing we need it a bunch of democrats getting sick on election day, so get protected.