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Senate Prez Steve Sweeney Won’t Run for Governor in ’13

Sweeney bows of the out of the race before it starts, saying his attention is needed to keep Democrats in control of the state Legislature.

Stephen M. Sweeney, the state Senate president, decided not to run for governor this year.

Sweeney said on his Facebook page that his focus will center on keeping a Democratic majority in the state Legislature:

After careful consideration and much deliberation, I will not be a candidate for governor in 2013. I've decided my work now needs to be focused on ensuring the Legislature remains in Democratic control. Is there any question about the havoc and pain a Republican Legislature would inflict on the middle class, labor, women and our seniors? For over a decade, New Jersey voters have ensured we have a strong Democratic majority in both houses and I view it as absolutely essential and my job to keep that streak going. We will.

Sweeney, whose Third Legislative District covers all of Salem County and parts of Gloucester and Cumberland counties, was elected state senator in 2001. He began his term as Senate president in 2010. He also served on the Gloucester County Freeholder Board from 1997 to 2010.

New Jersey Democrats have struggled so far to put up a big name to challenge Republican Chris Christie for the governorship. Christie, who announced his re-election bid in November, has enjoyed a renewed surge of popularity following Superstorm Sandy. Even Democrats are behind him for approval ratings, and his re-election polling numbers are very strong, reports Newsworks.

A Jan. 23 Quinnipiac University poll on hypothetical governor races showed Christie trouncing any opponent by at least a 2-to-1 margin. He polled 61-25 percent over Sweeney.

In addition to the nationwide attention Christie received—from a Saturday Night Live appearance to a fundraiser hosted by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—the incumbent also got a significant jump on building his re-election war chest. At the start of 2013, Christie already had $2 million in the bank. 

State Sen. Richard Codey, a Democrat who already served as acting governor after Jim McGreevey resigned in disgrace, already said he won't run in 2013, The (Bergen) Record reports. Ditto for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is running for U.S. Senate instead.

Right now, that leaves former state Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. An Edison carpenter, William Araujo, also threw his hat into the ring for the nomination.

New Jersey's primary election is on June 4. Candidates must file petitions to run by April 1. 

Donkey Tales January 28, 2013 at 07:15 PM
I've decided my work now needs to be focused on ensuring the Legislature remains in Democratic control. Is there any question about the havoc and pain a Republican Legislature would inflict on the middle class, labor, women and our seniors? For over a decade, New Jersey voters have ensured we have a strong Democratic majority in both houses and I view it as absolutely essential and my job to keep that streak going. We will. um Steve, we have 10% unemployment, the highest taxes in the nation, our cities of Democrat voters have failing schools and economies and tons of crime and our state pensions and healthcare costs are skyrocketing out of control forcing people from their homes. Is this the success you and your fellow do nothing donkey pals do for us with your majorities in both houses. Let's have a test. Steve, name 1 thing you have done to create jobs and if you have, why is the rate 10% Steve, why do overburdened taxpayers have to pay high property taxes for the pensions and benefits of a minority of government workers at our own detriment? Steve, how come Abbott Schools get all the school aid at the expense of performing districts but fail to produce results? Steve, how come 70 people were murdered in Camden last year? Steve, name 1 thing you have done to attract business to NJ. How about you focus on representing THE PEOPLE. Cut spending, lower taxes and create jobs.
Our Town January 28, 2013 at 08:57 PM
That's a long way of saying essentially, "My political handlers cannot be assured of a return on their investment by way of a guaranteed win, therefore, I will pretend like I even had a snowball's chance in hell." But I digress... Let me take this opportunity to announce, much to the delight of my potential opponents from both sides of the aisle, that I too, will not be a candidate for Governor in the upcoming gubernatorial race. I'm sure many of you are disappointed in my decision, but I must attend to other priorities at this time.
Steve Slimey January 28, 2013 at 10:55 PM
Without question one of the sleeviest characters I've ever met. After a meeting representing a not for profit, he literally held us up for ransom to provide free services to his kids school. I've never felt so dirty after a meeting. He's a union thug. Look at all he's done for the town where his office is (Woodbury)....place is falling down and he gets a parking deck approved for his masonry friends. I'd like to see a profit and loss statement on the eyesore....oh yeah, he got paid already so who cares. He'll sit tight and wait until Christie is gone. I don't think he's electable anyway. I can only imagine his trying to read someone else's speeches. Sad commentary on our state.
Dienstag January 29, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Look folks, let's be perfectly honest here. Chris Christie is going to win again in Nov, and Sweeny saw the writing on the wall. Nobody from the Dems can win here, so why go for it when you will lose? Christie in 2013!
Bill January 29, 2013 at 03:35 PM
Democrats have helped seniors ? That's a joke. Taking the average of a few different studies. And not including Alaska and Hawaii. Highest overall cost of living (for all of us), NJ #5 Seniors overall cost of living, NJ #3 Senior housing costs, NJ #2 Senior healthcare costs, NJ #2 Assisted living costs, NJ #1 I don't know how anyone over 65 can afford to live here. Nice job Sweeney. Your party almost has as #1 in every category for seniors.

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