NJ Politics Digest: Comey Firing Eclipses NJ Gov Debates

Sen. Cory Booker. Aaron P. Bernstein/Getty Images

The drama in Washington all but overshadowed the debates between gubernatorial hopefuls in the upcoming Republican and Democratic primaries.

President Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey prompted a swift reaction from U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, who called for a special prosecutor to investigate any connections between the Russian government and the Republican president’s campaign.

Quote of the Day: “The president of the United States just fired the person who was investigating his campaign, which should set off alarm bells across the country.” – Sen. Cory Booker (D)

Booker says FBI chief Comey’s firing by Trump should ‘set off alarm bells’
U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the need for a independent prosecutor to investigate possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign and Russian officials was “even more urgent” following the dismissal of FBI Director James Comey.
Jonathan D. Salant, NJ.com Read more

Live Blog: Democrats and Republicans Debate for NJ Governorship
The race to replace Gov. Chris Christie kicks into high gear with the first official gubernatorial primary debates at Stockton University.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Democrats Agree a Lot; Murphy Takes Some Heat
The four Democrats vying for their party’s nomination for governor debated for an hour Tuesday — if you can call it a debate when everyone sort of agrees on how to tackle the biggest problems facing New Jersey.
Salvador Rizzo, Observer Read more

Ciattarelli and Guadagno Face Off in Feisty, Tax-Focused Debate
In their first real duel as Republican primary candidates for governor, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno and Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli launched a series of calibrated attacks at each other during a discussion that focused primarily on New Jersey’s sky-high property taxes.
Alyana Alfaro and JT Aregood, Observer Read more

Rivals target Murphy, Christie in 1st Democratic N.J. governor debate
There were two big targets Tuesday night when the four leading Democratic candidates running to succeed Gov. Chris Christie gathered for their first primary debate.
Brent Johnson NJ.com Read more

GOP candidates, fighting ‘Christie fatigue,’ debate tax, climate proposals
Republican gubernatorial candidates Kim Guadagno and Jack Ciattarelli sparred over competing property tax relief plans and their political records in their first debate Tuesday, as they sought to separate themselves from a deeply unpopular governor.
Maddie Hanna, Inquirer Read more

The ‘outcasts’ debate for N.J. governor was certainly entertaining
Four Democratic and Republican candidates who fell short of the legal requirements for the first primary debate held their own “outcasts” debate Tuesday evening, united in their disdain for Democratic front-runner Phil Murphy.
Claude Brodesser-Akner, NJ.com Read more

NJ Governor’s Race: John Wisniewski
“What New Jersey needs a governor who has experience but is not beholden to the institutional politics that has created so many problems that we have today,” the Democratic assemblyman told Brian Lehrer.
WNYC Read more

Frelinghuysen defends Obamacare repeal vote in telephone town hall
U.S. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen was about halfway through his telephone town hall Tuesday when news broke that President Trump had fired FBI Director James Comey.
Rob Jennings, NJ.com Read more

Cops in N.J. now earn over $100K. See how much they make in your town
New Jersey cops now earn a median salary of more than six figures, state treasury data shows.
Carla Astudillo, NJ.com Read more

Another Marijuana Legalization Group Launches in NJ
Another marijuana-legalization group has cropped up in Trenton, this one led by lobbyist Peter Cammarano, a former chief of staff to acting Gov. Dick Codey.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Former Republican Assembly candidate joins Trump administration
Matthew Kopko, a former Assembly candidate for the 31st Legislative District, has joined the Trump administration as a Department of Transportation staffer.
Reena Rose Sibayan, The Jersey Journal Read more

Undocumented Rutgers student not detained after meeting with ICE officials
A Rutgers University student and undocumented immigrant whose professors and fellow classmates rallied around her after she was summoned to a meeting with federal immigration officials will be allowed to remain in the United States.
Monsy Alvarado, The Record Read more

4 Indonesians seeking asylum in New Jersey face deportation
Four Indonesians who were seeking asylum in New Jersey have been taken into custody and are facing deportation, a minister said Tuesday.
Associated Press Read more

Jersey City Mayor Balks at Tax Break for Kushners
The Democratic mayor of New Jersey’s second-largest city, who has had his ups-and-downs with the state’s volatile governor, Chris Christie, is now threatening to stymie luxury development dreams of the family of President Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner.
Patrick McGeehan, New York Times Read more

State Allocates $59 Million For Open Space, Recreation
For the first time in more than two years, the state is awarding money to preserve open space and to upgrade existing recreational facilities.
Tom Johnson, NJSPotlight Read more

Guess how many pounds of old pills N.J. turned in to the DEA?
New Jersey’s medicine cabinets are 15,929 pounds – or nearly eight tons – lighter after the haul from the most recent National Prescription Take Back Day late last month, according to the Drug Enforcement Agency’s Newark office.
Kathleen O’Brien, NJ.com Read more

Jersey’s ‘Garden State’ nickname could become official state slogan
New Jersey has an official state bird, state flower, state shell, state dinosaur and even a state tall ship, but as of now, no state slogan.
Nicholas Pugliese, The Record Read more

Codey to Monmouth Park: NJ racing’s not dead yet
Everyone gathered in the Monmouth Park clubhouse, as they have for some time in the days before the meet opens each spring, looking for words of hope before lunch. A sign that a brighter future for the beleaguered New Jersey racing industry is around the corner, right before joining the buffet line.
Stephen Edelson, Asbury Park Press Read more

State monitor forces school layoff
More than 70 staff members are expected to lose their jobs based on a budget approved Monday by a state monitor assigned to the village school district.
Matthew McGrath, The Record Read more

Hoboken Police Investigating Hate-Speech Incident
Hoboken Mayor Dawn Zimmer said police are investigating an incident involving a man who works at a “vape van” who was caught on video shouting racially charged insults at a group of passersby over the weekend.
Alyana Alfaro, Observer Read more

Toms River candidate may not live in town, opponents say
A GOP candidate for Township Council may not actually live in Toms River, according to Toms River Republican Club President Robert DiBiase.
Jean Mikle, Asbury Park Press Read more

EDITORIAL: Meet face to face with constituents
Rep. Tom MacArthur helped orchestrate amendments to the Obamacare replace-and-repeal bill that won passage in the House last week without a single Democratic vote. And he was one of just two New Jersey Republicans to vote for the bill.
Asbury Park Press Read more