Tag Archive: David Kurkowski

… And the Rest

Before the Professor and Maryann got their due in the Gilligan’s Island theme song, they were known collectively as “the rest.” And that’s about how some of NJ’s House races, and the Senate race, must have felt this year.

With the Obama campaign sucking up so much of the oxygen (and money, and energy, and ultimately the very PA-bound volunteers themselves), most of what was left over was focused on the “hot” races in NJ-3, NJ-5, and NJ-7. Like so often in the past, if you weren’t running in one of the hot races, then you found yourself with scant attention being paid to your campaign.

In the case of Senator Lautenberg, and our 7 Democratic House incumbents, no news was good news. New Jersey’s voters delivered a solid double-digit win to its senior Senator, and sent the Magnificent 7 back to Washington with an average margin of victory of over 40%. But for Congressional Challengers in NJ-2, NJ-4, and NJ-11, it was a different story altogether.

We look at each of these races in more detail below the fold.  

No switcheroo in NJ2

Ah, you thought I had a typo for NJ1?  Nope.  Apparently there have been rumors that Democrat Lou Magazzu might replace David Kurkowski for NJ2, but Magazzu now denies them. Magazzu would certainly be a higher profile challenger to Frank LoBiondo, but if he had been paying attention to Blue Jersey no one would be able to write this:

Magazzu, the Cumberland County Democratic chairman, gave his backing to Kurkowski several weeks ago, but the national political dynamic has changed greatly in that time.

Democratic voter registrations have increased greatly, and voter turnout in the presidential primaries has been tremendous. Many anticipate a large voter turnout in November as well for the general election.

Democrats really should respect the voters and decide to run before the primary, not afterwards.

Democrats make good showing in NJ2

This and two dollars will get you a coffee, but it’s nice to see the primary votes in NJ2:

Frank LoBiondo (R): 15,712

David Kurkowski (D): 15,771

It’s the first time the Democrat got more votes than LoBiondo.   (Admittedly, Donna Ward (R) got 1,980, and this is actually more votes for LoBiondo than he’s gotten since 2002.).  

I wouldn’t bet against LoBiondo, since he got 172,779 in the last Presidential election year, but it’s another sign of the long-term trends in this district.

Salem County News Roundup

Congress (NJ2)

Matt Friedman of Politicker NJ has a worthwhile profile of David Kurkowski of Cape MayCounty, who is taking on Frank LoBiondo in NJ-2:

“I would say that I’m socially fairly liberal, but that I’m fiscally conservative. I have these two careers as a small businessman, so I know what it means to run a business and watch every dollar and make sure you get a good return on the investment,” said Kurkowski.

It will be interesting to see how long in my life we’ll see Democrats defensive about this, since to anyone in Generations X or Y, it’s obvious that the last three Republican Presidents are responsible for nearly the entire national debt. I wonder if Deepwater was a good investment for Coast Guard.

That said, I will praise Frank LoBiondo’s work on the Coastal Heritage Trail.  His bill was passed.  

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.