This Week in New Jersey Politics

Christopher J. Christie, the corruption-busting United States Attorney, announced that he will resign on December 1. He is expected to become a candidate for the Republican nomination for Governor of New Jersey in 2009.
Stories: Christie to resign effective Dec. 1 | Bramnick backs Christie for governor; urges GOP to use Lance as a model | Pallone demands that Christie submit schedule, and Pascrell still wants monitor answers | Governor reacts to Christie news

A new Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday has Gov. Jon S. Corzine struggling to win the approval of New Jersey voters. He has an upside-down 43%-46% job approval rating and leads Christie in an independent poll by six points, 42%-36%.
Stories: Quinnipiac poll shows Corzine leading Christie, narrowly | Corzine approvals remain upside-down as most voters say he shouldn’t get second term | Quinnipiac: Corzine 42%, Christie 36%

Former State Sen. Wayne Bryant (D-Lawnside), who chaired the Senate Appropriations Committee, was convicted on twelve counts of bribery and fraud.
Story: Bryant guilty on all counts

For the first time since 1986, Democrats have won a majority of seats on the Monmouth County Board of Freeholders. Amy Mallet defeated Republican John Curley by 343 votes countywide.
Stories: Mallet defeats Curley, Monmouth Freeholder Board becomes Democratic-controlled | Curley concedes race to Mallet | Curley huddles with lawyers in Monmouth on the last day a candidate can contest results | Mallet still leading in Monmouth with Marlboro and Long Branch provisionals left to be counted |Mallet leads Curley with provisional ballot count end in Monmouth County

Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Raritan Township) will run in a special election convention for the State Senate seat being vacated by U.S. Rep.-elect Leonard Lance. Assemblyman Michael Doherty (R-Oxford) is already in the race, and Hunterdon County Freeholder Matthew Holt, the grandson of former U.S. Sen. Clifford P. Case, is also mulling a Senate bid.
Stories: Schluter works in Holt’s corner | No endorsement from Kuhl yetKarrow says she’ll take one shot at the convention, and that’s it | Karrow’s decision does not put the brakes on Holt | Doherty sees his conservative record as his ticket to the state senate | Karrow announces state senate bid | Doherty gets two Hunterdon County endorsements | Kuhl ‘assumes’ someone from Hunterdon will seek Lance’s seat

The New Jersey State Investment Council lost $25 billion in state pension funds since July, including $9 billion in October. The council is headed by Orin Kramer, a close friend of Gov. Jon Corzine and one of President-elect Barack Obama’s top fundraisers and bundlers.
Stories: Obama bundler says he lost $25 billion of N.J. pension funds | New Jerseyans feel the economic pinch

The inside-the-beltway political clout of U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) expanded this week with the election of Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) as Chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Pallone, who chairs the Health Subcommittee, played a major role in Waxman’s successful bid to oust longtime Chairman John Dingell (D-Mich.).

Biotech millionaire John Crowley is still mulling a bid for the 2009 Republican nomination for Governor, and his advisor says Chris Christie’s entrance into the race won’t impact Crowley’s decision. Former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan says he’ll announce next month, and Franklin Township Mayor Brian D. Levine is strongly considering a gubernatorial bid.
Stories: Spadea: Crowley decision won’t hinge on Christie’s plans | Being Levine: Franklin mayor says he could help restore confidence in government | Lonegan gubernatorial announcement coming next month

State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) and Assemblyman Rick Merkt (R-Mendham), who is exploring a bid for Governor, have called for the resignation of GOP State Chairman Tom Wilson. Wilson says he’s not sure he’ll stay on after the June ’09 gubernatorial primary.
Stories: Pennacchio calls on GOP state chairman to resign | Merkt calls for Wilson’s resignation | Duffy takes his name out of the mix for RSC chairman | Wilson not certain whether he’ll stay on as GOP State Chairman after June

Rutherford Mayor John Hipp says he’s open to a State Assembly bid in District 36 next year – if the GOP asks him. Warren County Freeholder Director John DiMaio says he’ll run for Assemblyman, assuming one of the two incumbents moves up to the State Senate in District 23. Conservative activist Joseph Caruso says he’s considering a challenge to Assemblyman Scott Rumana (R-Wayne) in the GOP primary next year.
Stories: Hipp leaves door open to Assembly run | Potential Rumana challenger says Assembly might not be his vehicle for change | Warren freeholder director launches 23rd District Assembly bid

Former Assemblyman William Payne (D-Newark), who gave up his seat last year to mount an unsuccessful independent bid for State Senator, says he’s undecided about challenging Assemblywoman Grace Spencer (D-Newark) in the ’09 Democratic primary.
Story: Payne undecid

ed on Assembly run, content for now with Obama victory

Weeks after Democrats won a 7-0 majority on the Cumberland County Board of Freeholders and beat the incumbent Sheriff and Surrogate, longtime Republican County Clerk Gloria Noto says she’ll seek re-election in 2009.
Story: Noto says she’ll run again

Eldridge Hawkins, Jr., 29, is off to a rough start after replacing Mims Hackett as Mayor of Orange. He’s facing a tax increase, and criticism of paying huge salaries to his Chief of Staff and her sister. In Passaic, Jose Sandoval says he’ll run again for Mayor in 2009; Sandoval has already lost bids for State Assembly, Congress and Mayor. Charles Bell, who won a Central Ward seat in a November special election, returned to the City Council this week.
Stories: After running as a local Obama, Hawkins runs early into the hard edge of Orange | Sandoval running again | Bell assumes office in Central Ward, delivers message to Booker | Bell to be sworn in tonight

This Week in New Jersey Politics