It was only a week ago that New Jersey Senator and former Governor Richard Codey was considering entering the governor’s race for the right to challenge incumbent Governor Chris Christie, but after deciding that he would not, he is now endorsing the likely Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Barbara Buono, in an announcement released on Jan. 29, 2013. Buono also received the backing of Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, Chair of the Democratic Governors Association.
When it comes to New Jersey politics and the democrats “politics does make strange bedfellows.”
Both announcements come on the heels of N.J. Congressman Frank Pallone Jr. who endorsed Buono on Monday, the highest endorsement she has received yet. Buono jumped into the race early and admitted hers was a grass roots campaign, one that has so far paid off. Her competition at that time was Codey, Newark Mayor Cory Booker, and State Senate President Stephen Sweeney. One by one, each announced they would not run against the popular Christie, thus paving the way for Buono. That pavement comes with a big hill though as beating Christie will be a tough mountain to climb.
In his announcement Codey said, “Senator Buono has distinguished herself as a progressive leader over the course of her career. She has been a leader through the years in the fight to expand access to health care and has fought the governor’s cuts to women’s health funding. She has consistently stood up for middle class New Jerseyans and fought to ease their burden by imposing a surcharge on millionaires. She has always understood the importance of the State’s investment in our public schools and higher education and has clearly articulated the long-term negative impacts of the cuts to both during this administration. She has never hesitated in calling for restrictions on assault weapons and as Chair of the Budget Committee she passed balanced budgets and scores of job creation initiatives.”
Shumlin stated “"Barbara Buono understands the challenges facing New Jersey's middle-class families because she's lived through them. That’s why she’s spent her entire career fighting to create jobs, improve education, expand access to quality health care, and balance budgets. Unfortunately, Governor Christie has failed to deliver on his promise to turn the state around. He’s blown a hole in the budget while New Jersey ranks near the bottom of the nation in unemployment, foreclosures, property taxes, and business climate. New Jersey needs a governor focused on creating jobs and expanding opportunity for New Jersey’s working families and that’s exactly the kind of governor Barbara Buono will be.”
Expect to see endorsements start coming in for Buono in large quantities, some may do so kicking and screaming the whole way and holding their nose but they will follow the marching orders and pressure of the party leaders. As for Buono, she has nothing to lose. Taking on a popular figure like Christie will put her in the spotlight quickly, grab the popcorn and get a good seat. This one will make for a very interesting 10 months.