We are one week away from the New Jersey primary election. Although this is considered an "off year", we will be electing one Senator and twelve members of the House of Representatives--the latter being our full representation in the lower house.
The Senate seat is the one taken by Democrat Cory Booker in last year's special election; four Republican candidates are vying for the space on the ballot to confront him in November. Booker is running unopposed on the Democratic side; we discussed him extensively last year.
Brian Goldberg has held a few county and municipal positions, and has actively worked to support other candidates and issues. Although this is his first statewide election, he has the money to outspend his Republican opponents for the nomination, but is financially dwarfed by Booker. His policies suggest financial conservativism, including federal fiscal responsibility and job creation by reducing the costs and regulations for small businesses, along with strong support for second amendment (gun) rights and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act ("Obamacare"). He has a background in I.T., and has been an executive in a construction company for the past dozen years, giving credibility to his claims that he knows about job creation at the grassroots level.
Jeff Bell has never won an elected office, although he took the Republican nomination for Senate away from incumbent Clifford Case in 1978 (then lost the general to Senator Bill Bradley). He worked with the Reagan administration to promote the tax cuts which led to recovery in the 1980s, and helped put through the bipartisan Tax Reform Act of 1986. He advocates a return to the gold standard (tying the value of the dollar to a specific weight of gold), and has the endorsement of Forbes Media head Steve Forbes. The restoration of middle class prosperity is a priority he intends to pursue. His other stated policies put him mostly in the moral conservative category, including protection of religious freedom, opposition to abortion, and school choice systems such as vouchers. He favors real universal healthcare, but does not think Obamacare is the path to reach it. Also on his issues list are gun rights, opposing internet gambling and drug legalization, promoting statehood for Puerto Rico, and a robust energy policy.
Rich Pezzullo has a strong and broad business background but no indication of experience in elected office. His positions are strongly conservative, including the repeal of Obamacare, balancing the federal budget, eliminating government bailouts of failing businesses, and removing the federal government and its Common Core program from education. He also is specifically targeting government intrusions into citizen privacy. He supports gun freedoms, is pro-life, opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants, opposes the "green" energy agenda insofar as it stifles production of fuels and so drives prices, is pro-Israel, wants a strong national defense but rejects putting that military under the direction of international agencies, and promises to work toward a more conservative judiciary. He also supports Congressional term limits, and has signed the "term limits pledge".
Murray Sabrin is a professor of finance at Ramapo College, the son of Polish holocaust survivors, and 1997 Libertarian Party candidate for Governor, when he did respectably well for a second-tier party candidate. He has posted positions on the economy, blaming the poor recovery in large part on budget deficits and poor monetary policy from the Federal reserve; civil liberties, for which he promises to fight for the restoration of constitutional rights impinged upon by legislation; healthcare, which he wants to see returned to a free market; budget, for which he would lower both spending and taxes; and foreign policy, for which he promotes a military isolationism avoiding alliances unnecessary to national defense.
These are the candidates for the Republican nomination for Senate. This week we shall endeavor to cover those running in primaries in the twelve New Jersey Congressional Districts. They will be indexed here as they are posted.