The Princeton Community Democratic Organization – the Democratic club of Tom Byrne’s home town – held their endorsement meeting tonight. Due to the potential for challengers (including Byrne) to enter the race against Senator Lautenberg, a motion was made to postpone the endorsement vote for Senator until a later date. The motion passed (by about 90-50).
Tag Archive: Tom Byrne
There has been no ally stronger to NJ progressives than Senator Frank Lautenberg. From his clear and strong opposition to the war in Iraq, to his strong support of protecting civil liberties and his steadfast support for protecting the environment, NJ progressives don’t have a stronger supporter than Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Update: Is it just a rumor? Fred Snowflack seems to think so.
Not the one anyone was expecting (PolitickerNJ):
Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitello is preparing to challenge incumbent Frank Lautenberg in the Democratic U.S. Senate primary, and will launch a petition drive tomorrow morning in Morristown, according to Gayle Kesselman, Co-Chair, New Jersey Citizens for Immigration Control.
“This is very good news,” Kesselman said in an e-mail. “Mayor Cresitello has steadfastly understood the illegal immigration problem in the country and his town. He has instituted 287G training for his police officers and argued with the Democrats in NJ about the immigration problem. The current NJ Senator, Frank Lautenberg, is up for reelection in 2008. He is probably in his middle 80’s. And Lautenberg has a very pro-illegal immigration voting record in the U.S. Senate. Mayor Cresitello wants to challenge him for the seat.”
Last summer Cresitello spoke at a pro-racist/anti-immigrant rally in Morristown, where he said:
“To the Communists across the street, and the Marxists, we know your motives, and we will not continue to let you go forward with your intent to take over our country.”
But Kesselman may be in for a surprise. Just a few months ago Cresitello seemed to have a major change of heart when he told a crowd that he thinks we should “permit all illegals who are in this country to be granted a pathway to legalization immediately.”
Cresitello’s chances are somewhere between slim and none, and slim just left town. But this could open the door for others to jump in, including Tom Byrne and potentially even some of the Congressional delegation.
Demoratic activist/leader Mike Beson (who recently served as the Edwards campaign state director) tells Blue Jersey that last night he was polled by the prospective US Senate campaign of Tom Byrne.
Beson, who is a personal friend of Byrne but is supporting Lautenberg, said that the poll tested the name recognition of Congressman Rob Andrews, Senate President Dick Codey, State Senator Bob Gordon, Senator Frank Lautenberg, and “Brendan Byrne”.
Beson asked repeatedly if the pollster meant Brendan Byrne Sr (the former governor) or his son Brendan “Tom” Byrne Jr, but the pollster did not know.
The poll also asked whether he had a positive or negative view of each of the potential candidates.
Finally, the poll did a comparative between Lautenberg and Byrne – first one that was positive of both, followed by a more aggressive one that highlighted Lautenberg’s age and noted that the other was always against the Iraq war, was a successful businessman, a champion on education, and an early supporter of Barack Obama.
As word of the poll spread yesterday, one party insider pointed out that it would be interesting to see if the poll was a true test of support, or a poll designed to give Byrne the answer he might be looking for — that he should run. That Byrne polled the name recognition of ‘Brendan Byrne’ — a name Brendan Thomas Byrne, Jr. does not often go by — is telling.
Update: A reader writes in to note that if Byrne does decide to run, he would not be in the party column in his home county of Mercer since they endorsed Lautenberg at the convention on March 18.
Update: Byrne confirmed that he is polling and wants to see if people think it’s “time for change” and a “new generation”. He said he expects to decide by early next week whether or not to run.
Democratic sources tell Blue Jersey that Tom Byrne — former Democratic state chairman from 1994-1997 (and son of former governor Brendan T. Byrne) — is running a poll to test his chances for a potential primary run against Senator Frank Lautenberg.
Byrne was recently spotted among the Democratic faithful at the “Evening at the Alleys” fundraiser hosted by the NJ Democratic State Committee last week.
He previously ran for Senate in 1999, but endorsed Jon Corzine before the primary election. As of the latest FEC filing available, Byrne had $511,000 cash on hand (and $190,000 in debts, which he loaned to himself in 1999 and does not need to repay).