Senate President Not Ruling Out Run For Governor [AUDIO]
So far, State Senator Barbara Buono is the only Democrat to officially announce that she’s running against Governor Chris Christie this November.
Several other high-profile Democrats are still undecided and Democratic county bosses are fed up with waiting for them to get off the fence.
Asked if he has ruled out a gubernatorial run, Democratic State Senate President Steve Sweeney says, “No, not at all.”
“I know we have one declared candidate, but we have several that are interested in running,” says Sweeney. “It’s always a tough race when you face an incumbent so we want to make sure that we put the best candidate forward. I don’t want to make it sound like I feel I’m the best because we have several. I’m one of the people that we’re looking at that other county leaders are calling. We’ll figure it out shortly, but it has to be figured out very shortly.”
Former Governor and current State Senator Dick Codey is also being courted by Democrats to run as is Congressman Bill Pascrell.
Asked if it hurt the party to wait so long for Newark Mayor Cory Booker to decide he won’t run against Christie, Sweeney says, “Waiting the time that we waited didn’t help anybody……Cory was our strongest candidate because of his national presence and his national fundraising ability so that didn’t help so we need to move pretty quick now.”
Democratic Senate President Pro Temp Nia Gill says, “We were waiting for Cory. We weren’t waiting for Godot. I’m quite sure that we have a candidate, strong candidates, all who will come forth at the correct time…..Waiting for Cory and waiting for Godot are two different things. We were just waiting for Cory.”
Some experts believe a bloody and costly primary would hurt Democrats at the top, middle and bottom of the ticket. State Senate Democratic Leader Loretta Weinberg says, “I think the sooner we can coalesce behind one candidate the better off we are, but a primary is never so detrimental that we can’t get through it.”
Asked if he believes Buono would be a strong candidate, Sweeney says, “There’s nothing wrong with Barbara.”