What if?

The chance the Linda Stender could win election to the U.S. House of Representatives this year has led to some limited discussions among Democratic insiders about a possible replacement for her 22nd district Assemblys seat. Some short-list candidates include: longtime Democratic National Committeewoman June Fischer, Fanwood Mayor Colleen Mahr, Union County Freeholder Rick Proctor, North Plainfield Council President Nathan Rudy, and Rahway Council President Jennifer Wenson-Maier. One name not being discussed as a potential Assembly candidate is former Governor James E. McGreevey, whose standing among voters might improve after his national book tour in September, which will include an interview with Oprah Winfrey. McGreevey, a former Woodbridge Mayor and State Senator, has been living in Rahway since he left Drumthwacket in November 2004 and has reportedly been shopping for a home in Plainfield with his partner, investment banker Mark O’Donnell. If Stender upsets Michael Ferguson in November, New Jersey’s seventh congressional district would likely become a top target of House Republicans in 2008. One Union County GOP insider, asked about a hypothetical ’08 race, said he would expect Stender to face a rematch with Ferguson. The Republican also said that there is no guarantee that Ferguson would have a clear path to the nomination if State Senator Thomas Kean also loses this year and decides to run for the House. Other possible candidates might include: Senate Minority Leader Leonard Lance, Republican State Chairman Thomas Wilson, Assemblymen Jon Bramnick, Eric Munoz and Christopher Bateman, and former State Senator Richard Bagger. Conservative Assemblyman Michael Doherty, who represents most of Hunterdon County, could also move into the district to run.

What if?