N.J. Senate: Keeping Their Options Open
Now that Rep. Bob Menendez has secured a Senate appointment, attention turns to the New Jersey Democrats who were passed over for the job by Gov.-elect Jon Corzine and who have previously floated the idea of running in next year's primary.
Leading that list are Reps. Rob Andrews and Frank Pallone, both of whom released non-committal statements on their political plans this afternoon.
First, Andrews: "I will consult with my family, friends and supporters in order to determine the best way to advance... .the causes and ideals to which I have devoted my efforts in Congress."
Then Pallone: "I have been preparing for a primary, and now will weigh my options of whether to proceed."
Not exactly the unified front national Democrats were hoping for following Menendez's formal ascension to the Senate. But it's not the worst case scenario for Democrats either since neither Andrews nor Pallone entered the primary today.
Both men will spend the next week or two sounding out influential leaders in the state and nationally about whether a primary run against Menendez, the new incumbent, is doable. It's likely that both will ultimately decide not to run, as national Democrats want to make Menendez's path as easy as possible between now and next November when he will face state Sen. Tom Kean Jr. (R) in the general election.
For now, the wait-and-see approaches adopted by both Pallone and Andrews should keep the political waters in New Jersey boiling over the holidays.
-- Chris Cillizza
December 9, 2005; 4:51 PM ET
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