Morning News Digest: Wednesday, December 17, 2008

N.J.’s Democrats and GOP gearing up for ‘09 race

While the governor’s race is the main attraction of New Jersey’s 2009 political season, each of the 80 seats in the state Assembly is up for grabs, with some of the most contentious battles expected in South Jersey. (Cynthia Burton, Inquirer)

Another bad month for N.J. budget

New Jersey’s budget woes continued to grow in November, when for the second consecutive month state revenues fell more than $200 million short of projections. (Jonathan Tamri, Inquirer)

Two Morristown DPW workers charged with heroin possession

MORRISTOWN—Two town Public Works employees, including one with a prison record who was hired on the recommendation of Mayor Donald Cresitello, were charged Tuesday with possession of heroin. (Minhaj Hassan, Daily Record)

NJ gov: Towns need pension contributions delayed

Tough talk from New Jersey’s governor the day after his plan to allow towns and cities to skip a half-billion dollars in pension fund contributions next year hit a snag in the Legislature. (Associated Press)

CRDA chief executive wins governor’s backing for new contract

ATLANTIC CITY – The chief executive of one of New Jersey’s wealthiest and most powerful state agencies said he has been asked by Gov. Jon S. Corzine to stay for another two years. (Donald Wittkowski, Atlantic City Press)

Cresitello won’t run for governor, and remains undecided on mayoral reelection bid

Specifically, he’d like to take on Gov. Jon Corzine, a man who arrived in office with some flashy business credentials but whom Cresitello doesn’t think has done a good job. (

Allies Sweeney and DiVincenzo assume divergent positions on pension deferral

Although they represent different parts of the state, County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo and state Sen. Majority Leader Stephen Sweeney with a few exceptions – the sales tax fight two years ago comes to mind – usually end up on the same side. (

Stender says Lance’s moderate positions on social issues made him a tougher opponent than Ferguson

Anyone who watched NJN on election night witnessed it: Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood), who had been the favorite in the 7th District House race, choking back tears as she attempted to explain—and no doubt understand—why she lost to state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington). (

Stender plans to run for re-election to Assembly seat

Still recovering from a lopsided congressional defeat to state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Flemington), Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) said today that she intends to run for re-election to the assembly in 2009. (

Ex-Haddonfield mayor eyes county clerk seat

Former Haddonfield Mayor Jack Tarditi wants to fill the shoes left by Camden County Clerk James Beach if Beach trades his Camden City office for a seat in the state legislature in Trenton. (Eileen Stilwell, Courier Post)

Morristown mayor mulls another run

MORRISTOWN—Mayor Donald Cresitello is considering running for another term. (Joe Ungardo, Daily Record)

Franklin mayor files papers to run for governor

FRANKLIN —Mayor Brian Levine has filed a form with the New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission, the next step in a proposed run for governor (Mary Ann Bourbeau,

NJ gov to sign pro-biz bill

TRENTON, N.J. – Gov. Jon S. Corzine is about to sign another piece of legislation to spur New Jersey’s economy. (Associated Press)–xgr-financialmelt1216dec16,0,1894906.story

Lance praises Obama’s pick of Jackson to head EPA

State Sen. Leonard Lance, soon to take a U.S. House of Representatives seat representing the 7th District, offered praise for President elect Barack Obama’s selection of Lisa Jackson to lead the federal Environmental Protection Agency. (Martin C. Bricketto, Morning News Digest: Wednesday, December 17, 2008