TRENTON – New Jersey voters remember state Senator Richard Codey (D-27).
A PublicMind Poll by Farleigh Dickinson University found Codey at the head of the pack of likely Democratic gubernatorial contenders among New Jersey voters, with about a quarter (27%) of the poll’s blue-leaning respondents choosing the former governor over the competition as their favored nominee.
But the one-time Senate President and 53rd governor who served in the interim between a disgraced Jim McGreevey and Goldman Sachs executive-turned US Senator Jon Corzine isn’t taking the numbers to heart.
Codey said whether he’ll run for governor following current Gov. Chris Christie’s tenure — or even before, should he leave early to pursue higher office — is “the most asked question” the senator gets nowadays.
“My response is, it’s three years from now,” Codey chuckled to PolitickerNJ in the hall outside a Senate Environment and Energy hearing today.
Codey is among a handful of top Democrats in the state being touted as a successor to the governor’s throne. Other potential candidates include former Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy, current Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), and Jersey City mayor Steve Fulop.
The latter two fell in second and fourth place in the polling, respectively, with nine percent and three percent. (Six percent of voters said they’d prefer “someone else”).
But Codey, a veteran Garden State pol who’s already spent time in the governor’s chair, said it’s impossible to predict what will happen from one day to the next when it comes to New Jersey politics, and any attempt at trying to do so is ultimately for naught. He points to himself as a prime example of this fact.
“If anybody’s going to run their life based on running for governor, that’s stupid” Codey said. “And he would probably not make a good candidate.
“I’m the greatest example of how one day in the life of a politician could change things dramatically,” he added. “One day in politics could change everything.”