After Maryanne Connelly won 47% in her 1998 House race against Bob Franks, she immediately launched a 200 rematch. But when Franks decided to give up his seat after four terms to run for the U.S. Senate, organization Democrats, sensing an opportunity for a pickup and not believing Connelly was the strongest candidate, instead backed then-Union County Administrator Mike Lapolla for the seat.
Lapolla narrowly lost the primary to Connelly, who then lost to Republican Mike Ferguson.
Does that mean Stender, who won re-election to the Assembly this month with a less than impressive margin, could find the Democratic field uncleared for her? Will Democrats look at another candidate, like State Senator Joseph Vitale or Democratic State Chairman Joseph Cryan?
For extreme political junkies: former Governor James E. McGreevey no longer lives in the district; he moved to Plainfield — in the 6th district.