2006 New Jersey Federal races


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Stebalo
January 8, 2006, 12:20 AM
My original run down of this years federal legislative races, originally posted at the New Jersey Coalition for Self Defense (http://www.njcsd.org/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=218&Itemid=9) home page.

2006 NJ races

US Senate

John Corzine’s designee to fill his seat in the US senate, Robert Menendez (http://www.getnj.com/onlygameintown/robertmenendezlinks.shtml), will be running as the incumbent in 2006. The GOP field so far is dominated by Thomas Kean Jr. (http://www.tomkean.com/), the conventional wisdom being that he has a strong advantage as the son of a popular republican NJ governor. The Washington Times has polled (http://www.washtimes.com/commentary/20060104-085708-7491r.htm) Kean as leading Menendez by 13 point already although I suspect that polling data may be out of date. Menendez most likely won’t get the party nomination without a fight as Robert Andrews (http://www.house.gov/andrews/) (NRA F) and Frank Pallone (http://www.house.gov/pallone/) (NRA F) are reportedly (http://www.politicsnj.com/default_010506.htm) considering primary challenges to Menendez. Quinnipiac data in November (http://www.quinnipiac.edu/x11376.xml?ReleaseID=852) showed Kean in a virtual heat with all three potential democratic candidates. Steve Lonegan’s assessment of Kean Jr.:

“He’s a young guy. He’s got a terrific future. He’s got the advantage of the name. He has to gain that conservative support. He has some areas, such as gun control, where he’s soft … but he has time to get out there and speak with all Republican voters.”

For all intents and purposes, NJ senate is so far up for grabs in 2006.


US House (http://www.state.nj.us/transportation/gis/maps/congressional.pdf)

District 1
The seat held by eleven term incumbent Robert Andrews (http://www.house.gov/andrews/) is potentially open if he runs for the senate in 2006 or retires from the house to pursue more lucrative avenues in the private sector. I am not convinced that he will run against an incumbent who has the governor’s backing and alienate the state democratic machine. He would be much more prudent to run in 2008 for 84 year old Lautenberg’s seat. If Andrew’s does run in 2006, which he might do with party boss Norcross’s backing, there is likely to be a free for all among the democrats for his seat in the House. Virtually a suburb of Philadelphia, district 1 has not had a republican representative since 1975. However, a vicious democratic primary could be a huge advantage to the GOP if they get their act together—doubtful in this state.

District 2
Five term GOP incumbent Frank LoBiondo (http://www.house.gov/lobiondo/) (NRA A-) is being challenged by 24 year old part time preacher Robin Benjamin Weinstein (http://www.voteweinstein.com/). Weinstein was formerly a legislative aid to state assemblyman Douglas Fisher and is more of a party insider than his age belies. Democrats are actively recruiting (http://www.nj.com/news/bridgeton/index.ssf?/base/news-0/1135075264144730.xml&coll=10) assemblyman Jefferson Van Drew (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/vandrew.asp) (NRA A) to run against LoBiondo. Van Drew won his reelection by a landslide last November. Add to this the fact that NJ District 2 only went for Bush by 1% in the last election and you could conclude that this race is likely to be a close one. The good news is Van Drew had an A rating from the NRA in 2003 (http://www.nrapvf.org/elections/2003/njppc.html). The bad news is I don’t always have full confidence in the subjective NRA candidate rating system.

District 3
Republican incumbent Jim Saxton (http://www.house.gov/saxton/) (NRA B+) will be challenged by democrat newcomer and Annapolis grad, Rich Sexton (http://richsextonforcongress.com/). Like most everyone else in the Democratic Party in the post Kerry debacle world, Sexton has no stated position on gun control. I always hope that persons who have served honorably in the military have a greater appreciation of value of the freedoms they protected for us but unfortunately, this is not always the case. See Frank Lautenberg for a counter example.

District 4
So far, republican incumbent Chris Smith’s (http://www.house.gov/chrissmith/) (NRA D+) only declared challenger is “CaptUnderpants” (http://www.dailykos.com/storyonly/2005/11/23/162735/49) from DailyKos.com. Fellow dKos user dansac has given CaptUnderpants the best advice I could have mustered:

“I probably wouldn't run as Captain Underpants.”

District 5
Dorothea Anne Wolfe (http://www.wolfeforcongress.com/) who ran against Scott Garrett (http://garrett.house.gov/) (NRA A) in 2004 is going to be battling Paul Aronsohn ("Paul%20Aronsohn), former McGreevey communications director, for the right to challenge Garrett again in 2006. Wolfe lost by a landslide 17% in 2004 after running on an anti-gun platform. Garrett won by a similar margin in 2002 against anti-gun opponent Anne Summers. Wolfe’s candidate page has completely left out any position statement on Second Amendment related issues this time around which is in line with the current national DNC policy of not running on gun control. It warms my heart that even in a state like New Jersey, running on a platform of gun control candidate can sink a candidacy. Aronsohn’s personal Second Amendment views are unknown at this time but as press secretary, he was the mouthpiece for McGreevey’s gun control agenda. Aronsohn also served in the Clinton State Department.

There is already a legal battle (http://www.northjersey.com/page.php?qstr=eXJpcnk3ZjcxN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXkyJmZnYmVsN2Y3dnFlZUVFeXk2ODE2ODY0) going on between Wolfe and Aronsohn. Is it safe yet to project a vicious primary? It should be said though that Wolfe is also trying to smear Garrett with an FEC probe (http://www.redstate.com/story/2005/9/20/155032/676) into the Club for Growth through guilt by association. I don’t think he has any true exposure. All he did was accept donations from a 527 who didn’t have their campaign finance paperwork in order.

District 6
District 6 is also potentially open, depending on whether Frank Pallone (http://www.pallonefornewjersey.com/) decides to challenge Menendez for his Senate seat. Pallone has been linked (http://www.thnt.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20060106/NEWS/601060422/1001) to the growing Abramoff scandal. However, we all know that blatant scandal and corruption has no bearing on the electability of a New Jersey democrat. I haven’t heard who might run for this seat should he leave it.

District 7
Democrats assemblywoman Linda Stender (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/stender.asp) (NRA F) and former Mayor of Hillsborough Township Joseph Tricarico (http://www.tricaricoforcongress.com/) have so far registered to challenge incumbent republican Mike Ferguson (http://www.house.gov/ferguson/) (NRA F). Despite the NRA F rating, Ferguson is being portrayed (http://www.dumpmike.com/gun_control/) as a pro-gun extremist. The ultimate slander in New Jersey. Or maybe that would be, “your mother is a pro-gun extremist.” Now that’s a low blow.

District 8
Democrat incumbent William Pascrell (http://www.pascrell.house.gov/ ) (NRA F) is currently running unopposed.

District 9
Democrat incumbent Steve Rothman (http://rothman.house.gov/) (NRA F) is currently running unopposed.

District 10
Democrat incumbent Donald Payne (http://www.house.gov/payne/) (NRA F) is currently running unopposed.

District 11
Republican incumbent Rodney Frelinghuysen (http://frelinghuysen.house.gov/) (NRA D) is running unopposed.

District 12
Democrat incumbent Rush Holt (http://holt.house.gov/display2.cfm?id=1071&type=Home) (NRA F) is currently running unopposed.

District 13
This is the only open Congressional seat in NJ so far this year with the appointment of Menendez to the Senate. I’ve heard conflicting reports (http://www.philly.com/mld/inquirer/news/local/13374212.htm?source=rss&channel=inquirer_local) on whether Corzine is going to call for a special election or not. With no special election, the seat will sit vacant until November and there will be no incumbent running. West New York mayor and speaker of the assembly, Albio Sires (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/Sires.asp) (NRA F) and Perth Amboy mayor and state assemblyman Joseph Vas (http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/members/vas.asp) are so far vying for this seat that is a shoe in to stay in the hands of the democrats.

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