Democrats view Belmar Councilman Matt Doherty as their best chance to pick up a seat in the Monmouth-based eleventh district, where the GOP has not lost since 1989. Doherty ran an aggressive and well-financed campaign for the State Assembly in 2005 against two Republican incumbents, but lost.
But some insiders say that Doherty, who declined chances to run for Senate or Assembly last year, will pass on an Assembly bid in 2009 against freshmen Republicans Mary Pat Angelini and David Rible. Doherty seems focused on his municipal post and his business, and his wife, Maggie Moran, the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor, will likely spend her time on Jon Corzine’s re-election bid. And if Belmar Mayor Kenneth Pringle decides not to seekre-election next year, Doherty could emerge as a candidate for Mayor.
Doherty, some Democrats say, still wants to go to the Legislature. He may be waiting until 2011, with the hope that the district could become more Democratic in redistricting and give him a better shot at taking on State Sen. Sean Kean.