The next statewide office

If you take Jon Corzine at his word — “That’s why Jon Corzine will work to amend the constitution and establish a new statewide office — an elected, not appointed, Comptroller. The Comptroller will serve as a powerful watchdog over the conduct of government at all levels — from the Governor’s office to the local DMV” — New Jersey will soon elect three statewide officials. The earliest this could happen would be a 2006 referendum amending the constitution, and a 2007 primary and general election. Democrats may not want a 2007 election — mid-terms are traditionally bad for the party in power (although they were not in 2003) — and they may not want to risk a Republican winning that contest who might then become the front-runner for the 2009 gubernatorial nomination. Democrats could prefer the State Comptroller be elected in 2008 — a presidential year with higher turnout — or in 2009 when the so-called independent watchdog would run on the same ticket as the candidates for Governor, Lieutenant Governor and State Assembly. While Corzine supports the new post, chances are that the Legislature will be in no rush to create the position: the current State Auditor has been on hold-over status for ten years.

The next statewide office