Hawthorne’s Gardner launches Senate candidacy

Hawthorne Democratic Committee Chair Jeff Gardner announced his decision this afternoon to run for the state Senate in the Democratic Primary, presumably against state Sen. John Girgenti (D-Hawthorne).

“I guess any speculating can stop now. Because, if it’s 4:00 p.m., then I’m probably standing in the Election Law Enforcement Commission offices, filing the paperwork for my campaign committee: Jeff Gardner for Senate in what is currently the 35th Legislative District,” Gardner wrote in a column posted this afternoon on Blue Jersey. 

“…I’ve opened up a campaign account, and have officially tossed my proverbial hat into the ring for the 2011 Primary.”

Formerly with the National Labor Relations Board, Gardner this month opened his own private law practice. He designed Girgenti’s website in  2007, and was disappointed last year when the state senator recorded a no vote on marriage equality.

A locally energized Gardner subsequently fielded a slate of county committee candidates, including himself, and defeated most of Girgenti’s incumbents last June. 

Girgenti’s chief of staff met the news with an amplification of the senator’s plans to run again. 

“He’s running, he’s ready, he wants it,” said Jill Shortway. “He loves being senator.”

Gardner hardly radiates the steady veteran party helmanship she says her candidate possesses.

“This is a Democratic leader who’s only been in there six months, who’s going to run against the sitting senator who’s been there 20 years,” said Shortway. “(Passaic County Democratic) Chairman John Currie has stated in public that Senator Girgenti is his candidate. The senator is very close to everyone in Paterson. Of course, everyone’s entitled to run but it’s unusual for a brand new Democratic leader to do this.”

Here’s the new candidate’s post on Blue Jersey…


Hawthorne’s Gardner launches Senate candidacy