Unless your name is Whelan, Gordon, Polistina or Driscoll, most insiders see the post-redistricting legislative election year landscape as a bore snore: 37 or 38 Senate cocoons all but perfectly preserved against an opposing party onslaught.
But Democrats want to soften up their rivals where they can, and in light of the public safety argument, in particular, some of them see at least the shades of an opportunity in the newly formed LD11, where state Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-11) seeks re-election.
“They think they have an opportunity to play there,” Patrick Murray, pollster and political scientist for Monmouth University, told PolitickerNJ.com.
Beck broke with Republicans Monday to vote in favor of restoring $7.5 million for women’s healthcare, signaling to Democrats that the incumbent is serious about a challenge from Freehold attorney Ray Santiago.
Today, state Sen. Paul Sarlo, (D-36), zeroed in on Beck as he tried to get her to consider backing restoring a line item of $50 million for public safety, a doomed proposition along with the other Christie cuts to the Democratic budget.
“I can only look at the budget as a whole,” Beck told Sarlo.
Democrats hope Beck’s reconfigured district, which now includes urban municipalities Long Branch and Asbury Park, will present outrage opportunities for the challenger as they try to sink Beck by tying her to Christie.
Two inside sources told PolitickerNJ.com that while they doubt they can topple Beck, Assembly Democrats want to try to get into a dogfight with the GOP in the 11th to pick off Beck’s running mate, Assemblywoman Caroline Casagrande of Colts Neck.