Pallone plans to stay in touch with Andrews

When U.S. Rep. Rob Andrews decided to wage a primary challenge against Sen. Frank Lautenberg, few politicians went after Andrews as hard as Rep. Frank Pallone did.

But Pallone (D-Long Branch) today indicated that, with Andrews (D-Haddon Heights) expected to depart from the House in January, the two will once again have a working relationship.

“I don’t know if it’s certain that he’s working for Goldman Sachs, but I assume he’s going to be involved in legislation and continue to be involved with Congress in some way, even though he’s not a congressman. I’ve worked with him for years, and will continue to,” said Pallone.

Among the charges Pallone made against Andrews during the campaign was his close relationship with South Jersey power broker George Norcross III, telling that "one thing that stands out about Frank Lautenberg is he’s never been bossed.”

Pallone, however, didn’t have a problem with the process that Camden County Democrats are using to replace Andrews, and didn’t have the same concerns about the likely replacement, Don Norcross.

“I like Don Norcross. I’ve seen him many times not only at political events, but at labor events. He’s very personable, and I think he’d be a good candidate,” said Pallone.

Pallone, who has the largest war chest in Conress, also said that he plans to help out 5th District Democratic challenger Dennis Shulman, who’s running against incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. E. Scott Garrett.

Pallone also gave encouraging words to Josh Zeitz, who’s challenging Rep. Chris Smith in the 4th District.

Zeitz’s campaign was an uphill battle to begin with, and many political observers saw Smith’s high profile trip to the Republic of Georgia, where he arranged for two children from his district to make their way out of his war zone, as sealing the deal. Pallone didn’t agree.

“The bottom line is that Josh is a better candidate than Chris Smith. I’ve watched him many years, and for the most part, Chris Smith toes the Bush line,” he said.

Pallone plans to stay in touch with Andrews