Insiders from both parties seem to agree on one thing: the only candidate who can beat Frank LoBiondo is Jeff Van Drew. If Van Drew runs, he’ll have strong party support in a race that will still be difficult – and if he doesn’t, it is possible that the Democrats don’t have anyone else who can beat LoBiondo.
It’s no secret that Van Drew wants to be a Congressman: he went to Washington earlier this year to talk to the DCCC about a race, even when his election to the State Senate was not yet locked in. But now he’s having some second thoughts – perhaps realizing that taking on LoBiondo isn’t the same as a race against Nicholas Asselta.
While Van Drew makes his decision, he might look at the 1995 Republican primary for State Assembly in the 25th district. Christopher Christie, now the corruption-busting United States Attorney, had been elected Morris County Freeholder in November 1994. In March 1995, he entered the race for Assembly, saying that he had already accomplished his mission in county government. But voters didn’t seem to think he was ready for such a rapid promotion, and he came in fourth in that primary, behind Anthony Bucco, Michael Patrick Carroll, and Rick Merkt.