Sweeney Not Running For Governor

By Phil Gregory, WBGO News
Trenton. January 28, 2013

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New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney (photo by Phil Gregory)

New Jersey Senate President Steve Sweeney has decided not to run for governor this year.

Sweeney says he’s decided to focus on his own reelection bid and ensuring that Democrats retain control of the state legislature.

Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray says some legislative seats now held by Democrats in south Jersey could be in danger if Chris Christie wins reelection by a huge margin.

“George Norcross needs to hold on to all those seats to maintain control of the Democratic leadership in Trenton. If he loses two seats which is quite possible with a Christie landslide, then he could also lose that voting block within the Democratic Party, and there could be a real leadership battle for the legislature come next year.”

Sweeney’s decision comes just a few days after state Senator Dick Codey also said he’s not entering the gubernatorial race.

Analysts expect declared candidate state Senator Barbara Buono will be the Democratic nominee to face Governor Chris Christie in November.

Rider University political science professor Ben Dworkin says Buono is a strong candidate.

“There’s 700,000 more registered Democrats in New Jersey than there are Republicans. I think those people will come home in November and while it’s a very much an uphill battle to overcome Chris Christie, a mainstream Democrat like Barbara Buono can keep it close.”


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