In the wake of New Jersey State Senator Richard Codey’s announcement on Jan. 25, 2013, that he will not run for Governor, Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono announced that she will receive a major endorsement in her race for Governor.
The announcement will take place at the Trenton Marriott on Monday, Jan. 28, 2013, at noon, where another New Jersey political leader will stand up in support of Buono's candidacy. Buono the only candidate thus far to throw her hat into the ring has seen an increase in endorsements among the political hierarchy but has yet to receive the majority support of the party. It is getting late in the game for anyone else to enter, the last holdout that was considered to be in the running is State Senate President Stephen Sweeney, who has yet to announce his intentions. That should not come as a surprise to political pundits and watchdogs as Sweeney and Buono have locked horns over the years.
Early this morning, Jan. 26, 2013, Ocean County Democrats came out in support of Buono at their county committee meeting and celebration breakfast in Toms River. Senator Buono gave a rousing speech to county committee members and guests and earned their strong support.
"Governor Christie has been a failure for New Jersey, plain and simple. Under his watch, New Jersey has the highest property taxes in the nation and the fourth worst unemployment rate. That’s failure. As a former Budget chair, Barbara Buono has the experience to turn New Jersey’s economy around, while protecting investments we need in education and infrastructure. New Jersey, it’s time to fix our economy and rebuild," stated County Chairman Wyatt Earp.
Earp went on to say "we have the opportunity to elect the first Democratic woman governor in the history of New Jersey. We here in Ocean County look forward to working hard for her not just now, but also going forward."
Buono has described her campaign as a “grass roots” type of campaign and has started to turn the political heat on incumbent Governor Chris Christie. Buono has seized on traditional democratic issues where she and Christie disagree, like same sex marriage, gun control, education and planned parenthood funding just to name a few.
Buono has her work cut out for her though as Christie’s popularity is at record highs in the polls. Christie also has polled well even among democrats and women. Buono will have to win back those democrats to the party and shore up its base. If Buono is the nominee, Christie will have to keep himself in-check that he does not become over aggressive or overbearing, that could hurt him with women.
As for Monday’s major announcement, looking into my political crystal ball, I think the endorsement will come from one of our New Jersey U.S. Senators, former Governor James Florio or Newark Mayor Cory Booker. An endorsement from Booker would be a big score as he is the party’s rock star and the closest one to poll well against Christie. Booker had decided to run for the U.S. Senate and opted out of the governor’s race, much to the dismay of the party leadership on both a state and national level. We can eliminate that it would be from former Governors Corzine or McGreevy, an endorsement from either one of them would be the kiss of death.
The Democratic Party on a national level has a big interest in this race and defeating Christie, doing so would take him out of the limelight for the next four years and give them a better chance in the presidential race in 2016.
Overall, the Democratic Party and their leaders in the Garden State are wasting time hedging their bets and playing politics. With a governor this popular they need to focus and unite, Buono has taken the bull by the horns and is the only one showing any leadership, either they rally behind her quickly or nominate someone they can all agree on. The clock is ticking.