Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Probable 2006 New Jersey Senate matchup: Menendez vs. Kane.

Sorry I've been away for a while, folks. I've been sick as a dog and haven't had net access in the interim. I'm still sick, but I've got some net access back. It's too much to explain, so I won't. Instead, I'll just talk about New Jersey, because that's what's on my mind right now.

Looks like Governor-Elect Corzine of New Jersey is about to name his successor to the U.S. Senate: U.S. Rep. Bob Menendez of Jersey City. A good choice, and I’m not disappointed, even though I personally favored Acting Governor Richard Codey, who took himself out of the running. Mr. Corzine is expected to announce this either today or Friday, according to the Gloucester County Times.

State Senator Tom Kean Jr., the only Republican who’s announced his intention to seek the seat next year, has sort of kind of not said what his feelings are about Mr. Corzine’s decision, whatever that decision will be. According to that same Gloucester County Times article, "Sen. Kean has said on several occasions that the campaign will not be about who he runs against," said Even Kozlow, Kean's campaign manager. "We intend to run a very clean campaign." Then, showing a perhaps inadvertant penchant for irony, Kozlow says, in the same article, "Clearly New Jersey works best when run by reformers than by party bosses ... Clearly Democratic bosses will do whatever they have to stay in power." Ch’yeah… sounds like the nice words you hear in a “clean campaign” to me.

Maybe I’m speaking too soon, but it kind of looks like Mr. Kean is gearing up for another vicious slugfest, perhaps evocative of the 1996 Torricelli/Zimmer matchup. Or maybe Mr. Kozlow just isn’t smart enough to stay away from smearing people while talking about running a “clean campaign.”

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