In addition to Jon Corzine and Christopher Christie, independent gubernatorial candidate Christopher Daggett will need to pick a running mate within the next four weeks. If Daggett qualifies for matching funds – he told NJN's Michael Aron on Tuesday that he expects to do that within the next few weeks – his campaign will have at least $1.1 million to spend on the race. And if the Legislature passes a bill (already through the Assembly) to mandate Lt. Governor debates, Daggett's running mate will be on TV with, for example, Barbara Buono and Diane Allen. Daggett won't want a James Stockdale situation.
To demonstrate that his ticket is truly independent, Daggett, a former Republican who held top environmental posts under President Ronald Reagan and Gov. Thomas Kean, may be considering a Democrat. The Inside Edge, not in consultation with the Daggett campaign, has put together a short list of ten potential Daggett LG candidates:
- Former Assemblyman Matthew Ahearn, a former Fair Lawn Deputy Mayor who unseated a Republican Assemblyman in 2001 and then switched to the Green Party rather than take orders from then-Bergen County Democratic Chairman Joseph Ferriero.
- Passaic County Clerk Karen Brown, who decided not to seek re-election to a second term in 2009 after it became clear she would not receive party support.
- Former Democratic State Chairman Tom Byrne, the son of former Gov. Brendan Byrne, who briefly challenged Jon Corzine for the Democratic U.S. Senate nomination in 2000 and has been waiting for an opportunity to run statewide.
- Edison Mayor Jun Choi, who lost his bid for a second term this week after the Middlesex County Democratic organization dumped him from their line.
- Atlantic County Freeholder Alisa Beth Cooper, whose fierce independence has landed her in hot
waterwith establishment types of her political party – as it did for her late mother, Assemblywoman Delores Cooper.
- Four-term Passaic County Freeholder James Gallagher, who switched from Democrat to Independent last year and is not seeking re-election this year. Gallagher is the son-in-law of former Paterson Mayor and GOP gubernatorial candidate Lawrence "Pat" Kramer.
- Louis Manzo, a former Assemblyman and Hudson County Freeholder who has made numerous bids to win election as Mayor of Jersey City.
- Carl Mayer, a former Princeton Township Committeeman, law professor, and Ralph Nader staffer, who won national attention when he secretly recorded New Jersey politicians on the Chamber of Commerce train trip to Washington.
- Former seven-term Assemblyman Craig Stanley, who lost the 2007 Democratic primary by 127 votes and got shellacked in his comeback bid this week. Stanley is the nephew of former Assemblyman William Payne.
- Jeff Tittell, the Executive Director of the New Jersey Sierra Club and a frequent critic of Corzine.