We’re running this for the second time in three months

If Democrats are successful in winning control of the U.S. House of Representatives in November, it could prompt some veteran — and aging — Republican Congressmen to retire in 2008. It isn’t always easy for a Congressman to adjust to live in the minority after they have grown accustomed to the benefits of majority life. In New Jersey, one possible retirement would be James Saxton, who is favored to win re-election to a twelfth term this year. Saxton is now the Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee and the Chairman of the Terrorism, Unconventional Threats and Capabilities Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee. After the 2002 election, Saxton was in line to become Chairman of the House Natural Resources Committee, but the leadership deemed him not conservative enough and he was passed over for the job. Saxton will be 65-years-old in 2008 — still young enough to trade 24 years of Washington connections for a lucrative government relations position. If Saxton were to retire — and there have been absolutely no indications that he will — look for a spirited contest for an open seat in the traditionally Republican third district. The most likely Republican candidate would be State Senator Diane Allen, but the Democrats could have a primary between State Senator John Adler and state Community Affairs Commissioner Susan Bass Levin, who was the Mayor of Cherry Hill when she challenged Saxton in 2000. if Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore wants someone from Ocean County to fill his seat, one possible candidate is former Mets/Yankees pitcher Al Leiter. The 40-year-old Toms River native, a self-described C-Span addict, has dabbled in GOP politics in recent years, campaigning for Douglas Forrester for the U.S. Senate in 2002, George W. Bush in 2004, and New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg in 2005. If Ocean County Republicans want a candidate that can take the nomination from Allen, the more conservative Leiter could be an interesting contender. Saxton won the seat in 1984, following the death of seven-term incumbent Edwin Forsythe, by narrowly winning a three-way primary. Ocean County backed County Clerk Dean Haines, who finished second, ahead of Assemblyman John Rocco of Camden County.

We’re running this for the second time in three months