The last 28 days of June will be exciting times in New Jersey politics, as both gubernatorial nominees pick running mates, state party chairs, and as Gov. Jon Corzine looks to pass his state budget before the July 1 deadline. There is only one certainty for June: Corzine will keep Assemblyman Joseph Cryan (D-Union) as the Democratic State Chairman. That would make Cryan the first two-term Democratic State Chairman since Gov. Robert Meyner picked Camden Mayor George Brunner in 1953 and 1957.
From the time the polls close next Tuesday, the Republican nominee for Governor will face a critical 28 days and four hours. On Election Night, he'll get a rare opportunity to address voters watching on New York and Philadelphia TV news stations (as long as they don't cut away for an interview with Vice President Joseph Biden, who will be in New Jersey helping Corzine). He will need to nominate a candidate for Lt. Governor, pick a GOP State Chairman, and focus on economic issues as the Governor and the Legislature debate the details of a state budget that includes a $1.5 billion revenue shortfall.
For extreme political junkies: Brunner was elected Camden County Freeholder in 1931 and 1934, and was the Mayor of Camden from 1935 until losing his re-election bid in 1959. He was the Democratic nominee for U.S. Senator in 1946, losing 59%-40% to GOP incumbent H. Alexander Smith.