Morristown mayor convinced he has a shot

MORRISTOWN – If he challenges U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg in a Democratic primary,Morristown Mayor Donald Cresitellowill have the challenge of proving he is more than the anti-illegal immigration candidate.

He believes he can do that.

Worried about America’s fading infrastructure and dwindling jobs base, the self-described Lyndon Johnson-style Democrat said he would like to restore the country’s competitive edge in part through public works projects.

He admits he’s weaker on foreign policy. Buthe says he made public statements against invading Iraqrecord prior to the war’s outset.

In any event, he believes a primary contest strengthens the hand of the voters, particularly in this case.

“People are concerned about one of two things,” said Cresitello, referring to the 84-year old Lautenberg. “Either he wins and stays there for a full term -and they have some difficulties with that because he’ll be 90-years old -or that he wins and a year from now he withdraws from the senate and the governor handpicks the senator again. People don’t want that to happen. They want to elect their senator.”

Cresitello said he suspects Gov. Jon Corzine and themachinery of the partyhave positioned U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews to occupy the seat should Lautenberg fail to finish his term.

“I don’t think that kind of ordination should be made by the party hierarchy,” the mayor said.

Morristown mayor convinced he has a shot