Today’s news from PolitickerNJ.com

The short campaign Multiple Republican sources say Andy Unanue is preparing to drop out of the Republican U.S. Senate race

The short campaign
Multiple Republican sources say Andy Unanue is preparing to drop out of the Republican U.S. Senate race and will be replaced by former Congressman Dick Zimmer.

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The arrangement is not final, but Unanue has reportedly agreed to drop his candidacy, while Zimmer has agreed to replace him.

Unanue’s three-member committee on vacancies has until next Wednesday to officially change candidates. (Matt Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)

Andrews explains
While attending a funeral in Ocean County recently, Rep. Rob Andrews recalled, a stranger urged him to run for the Senate, saying New Jersey voters were long overdue for a choice in who should represent them.

"That conversation has been multiplied again and again," Andrews said Wednesday in offering a detailed explanation of his surprise decision to challenge Sen. Frank Lautenberg in the June 3 primary. (Raju Chebium, Courier-Post)

Waiting for orders
Camille S. Andrews, running to replace her husband, Rob, in the U.S. House, says she is somewhere between being a straw candidate and a real one.

In an interview yesterday, she said she wanted to go to Congress but would submit to the wishes of Democratic leaders in Camden, Gloucester and Burlington Counties, who are sifting through more than two dozen applicants. (Cynthia Burton, The Inquirer)

Money versus the machine
In determining who among the crowded field of seventh district Republican congressional candidates is the frontrunner, the question may be what counts more: money or county lines.

From the moment state Sen. Leonard Lance entered the race, the conventional wisdom has been that he leads the pack. And, without so much as acknowledging that he is the frontrunner, Lance has done much to reinforce that status, winning the party line in his native Hunterdon County, along with Somerset County. (Friedman, PolitickerNJ.com)

Taking the others by the earmark
Saying reining in federal spending is "a very important aspect of my campaign," Ocean County Freeholder John P. Kelly, a candidate for the GOP nod for Congress, is promising to crack down on budget earmarks, pet spending measures attached to often-unrelated legislation.

Kelly signed the Earmark Reform Pledge of the Washington-based Citizens Against Government Waste, a private nonprofit group that bills itself as nonpartisan. He urged Republicans and Democrats also running for Rep. Jim Saxton's seat in the 3rd District to do the same. (Don Bennett, Asbury Park Press)

Morris Dems back Wyka
The Morris County Democratic Committee voted Wednesday night in its mini-convention at Knolls Country Club East to back Tom Wyka in the June 3 primary race for the party nomination for the 11th District Congressional seat. (Daily Record)

Police protection
Fighting in the Republican mayoral primary, Robert Romano today rolled out the endorsement of the Vineland Superior Officers Association, which lauded the police lieutenant as an "experienced and natural leader." (Max Pizarro, PolitickerNJ.com)

One job’s enough
Paul Moriarty, who was elected mayor of Washington Township in 2004, announced Monday that he will not seek another term.

Moriarty, 51, will keep his job in the state Assembly, where the Democrat represents the Fourth District. He said running for mayor again would distract him from working on the fiscal crises the township and state face. (Sam Wood, The Inquirer)

Democrats re-emerge in Rumson
The rarest of species, which hasn't been seen here for 25 years, has suddenly reappeared.

The Rumson Democrat has resurfaced in the form of two council candidates, Michael Steinhorn and Fred Blumberg, who say their mission is to bring a bipartisan presence to what they contend is a government locked up by one party. They face incumbent Republicans Shaun Broderick and Robert Kammerer, who counter that current council members are independent thinkers acting for the good of the borough. (Larry Higgs, Asbury Park Press)

Validation in Ocean County
Nine candidates seeking three Ocean County government positions cleared an early hurdle Wednesday, when their nominating petitions for the June primary election were certified as valid, according to Deputy County Clerk Scott Colabella.

That means the petitions of three rival slates had at least 100 valid signatures of registered voters, he explained.

Jockeying was under way in earnest to form primary election slates with candidates for the U.S. Senate and House in both congressional districts that include Ocean County, he said. (Don Bennett, Asbury Park Press)

Replacements on the way in Denville
Denville Republicans will decide in the next 30 days on a replacement for at-large Councilwoman Pat Valva, who abruptly announced she was quitting her seat Tuesday night.

The local Republicans will pick three candidates for the seat, and the council will then interview them all publicly and choose one, town officials said. (Paula Saha, Star-Ledger)

Deliberations begin
The fate of former Newark mayor Sharpe James is in the hands of a federal jury.

The panel of six men and six women deliberated for three hours yesterday without reaching a verdict in the conspiracy and fraud trial of the Democratic powerbroker. Deliberations are to resume this morning in U.S. District Court in Newark. (Maryann Spoto and Jeff Whelan, Star-Ledger)

Gov finds EnCap facts
Governor Corzine, three southern Bergen mayors and three state senators convened for more than an hour in Lyndhurst today to discuss the future of the EnCap site at the Meadowlands landfills.

Lilo Stainton, a spokeswoman for Corzine, called the visit “a fact-finding mission.”

“The governor was there to listen and to get reports from a variety of people,” she said.

Robert Ceberio, the executive director of the New Jersey Meadowlands Commission and an attendee of the meeting, said that Corzine “made it clear that remediation of the site is his top priority.” (John Brennan, The Record)

Let’s talk this out
Mayor Ronald W. Jones Jr. and former Councilman Gerald W. LaCrosse

have agreed to participate in mediation regarding several complaints filed by Jones against LaCrosse in Berkeley Township Municipal Court.

Berkeley Municipal Court Judge John J. Sheehy stressed to the men that "this is not a trial, it is an advisement of your rights." (Chelsea Michels, Asbury Park Press)

No-show
Former Chesilhurst Councilman Robert McCann was a no-show Wednesday at a hearing in Superior Court scheduled for him to prove indigency in an appeal of an animal cruelty conviction.

McCann was convicted in Chesilhurst municipal court on March 13 of four counts of animal cruelty for failing to provide sufficient shelter for a dog after she delivered a litter of puppies in February 2001. At least seven of the pups died and a veterinarian said the deaths resulted from hypothermia.

McCann had filed notice with Superior Court Judge John T. McNeill III that he planned to appeal the conviction and asked that the state pick up the $75 filing fee and the cost of transcribing the hearing. (Renee Winkler, Courier-Post)

Today’s news from PolitickerNJ.com