Weekly Advance: Week of Dec. 31

TRENTON – The week ushers in a new year and by all accounts every pol and political wonk in New Jersey will soon know who on the Democratic side plans to challenge Gov. Chris Christie in the upcoming election.

After Newark Mary Cory Booker announced his decision to stay out of the race, some New Jersey Democrats shied away from making any announcements before the beginning of the year.
Well, 2013 is here. Who’s in?

Coming into the new year, state Sen. Barbara Buono was the only Democratic candidate who filed papers to challenge the Republican governor.

Christie is coming into 2013 with record-high approval ratings, enough to make any potential gubernatorial candidate weary of quickly jumping into the ring with the governor.

However, the clock is ticking and Democrats will have to choose sooner than later whether they will rally behind Buono or decide if another candidate is better suited to challenge Christie.

Currently, the race is on in the sense that Democrats will be faced with the uphill battle of choosing someone who can face off against a popular governor who has the ability to raise more than just a small amount of cash.

Statehouse happenings

 Despite the likely relative lack of excitement in the halls under the Golden Dome, Senate lawmakers will gather at the Statehouse Thursday to discuss Fiscal Year 2013 revenue numbers.

The committee’s chairman, Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), said last week he called the hearing in order to allow the state Treasurer and the Office of Legislative Services to give lawmakers a rundown of revenue returns.

While stressing the meeting is not designed to be a “witch hunt” or a “gotcha” hearing, Sarlo was also quick to point out that he expects the state to be hit with a shortfall in the range of $600 million to $1 billion – a range he said excludes any revenue hit likely from superstorm Sandy.

A spokesman from the state Treasury Department confirmed last week that the treasurer would not be attending the hearing due to a scheduling conflict.

OLS’ chief finance officer, David Rosen, also invited by the committee, had been somewhat critical of the governor’s optimistic revenue projections even before Sandy slammed into Jersey’s shore.

Now, it can be expected that Democratic lawmakers will steer the conversation back to the revenue numbers as everyone gears up for a 2013 gubernatorial battle.

 

Monday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

 

Tuesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Nothing scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Nothing scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

 

Wednesday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

 

Thursday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Senate

10 a.m., Budget and Appropriations Committee, Rm. 4, Statehouse Annex, Trenton

Boards and Commissions

4 p.m., Marine Fisheries Council, Galloway Township Library, Jimmie Leeds Road, Absecon

 

Friday

Gov. Chris Christie

Not yet scheduled

Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno

Not yet scheduled

Legislature

Nothing scheduled

 

 

Weekly Advance: Week of Dec. 31