Tag Archive: Lou Magazzu

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.

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.

Van Drew Not Running in NJ-2

As Scott in NJ points out, Assemblyman Jeff Van Drew, considered by many to be the best candidate to challenge Rep. LoBiondo, says he’s not running:

“It was an honor to be asked by folks in Washington and I did have some congressmen call me…and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee called me as well…Certainly, while I was honored by that and I think it’s good to have a spirited race where we have real competitors and discuss the issues and debate the issues, I am just very involved with the issues of the state of New Jersey right now at this point in time and I am not going to be running (for Congress).”

The filing deadline is this Monday, April 10th. Cumberland County Democratic chair Lou Magazzu, who had previously considered running for Congress, but declined, may be about to reconsider:

Magazzu, also considered a potential challenger to LoBiondo’s 12-year reign, will have to get together with the county Democratic Party chairmen from throughout the Second Congressional District over the next few days, as candidates must file for the June 6 primary election by Monday.

Assuming NJ-4 is covered, this is the last district that we need to find a challenger for. There are only four days left to do it.