Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

North Jersey Lawmaker Seen as Gop Possible for U.S. Senate

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

North Jersey Lawmaker Seen as Gop Possible for U.S. Senate

Article excerpt

Assemblyman Jay Webber of Morris Plains, who served as the Republican State Committee chairman during Governor Christie's 2009 campaign, is being touted as a possible U.S. Senate candidate for 2014.

The possibility of the conservative, Harvard Law School grad as a "center-right" candidate was bandied about at the recent meeting of the Tuesday Group, an informal gathering of conservative officials and activists that has been meeting each month at the Empire Diner in Parsippany since 2002, according to one of the participants.

Webber acknowledged that he has "heard a little buzz" about him running for the Senate, but would only say, "I'm concentrating on running for reelection in the 26th District and getting Governor Christie reelected. Let 2014 take care of itself."

That's a polite way of saying he's keeping his options open. He added, "Whoever we send to the U.S. Senate should be a fighter for New Jersey and someone who has an agenda that expands economic opportunity."

Other names mentioned on the Republican side so far are Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick of Westfield, state Sen. Joe Kyrillos of Monmouth County and Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

Democrat investments

Democrats with a possible eye on the 2014 Senate race have been making early investments in North Jersey county committees.

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone of Monmouth County, who has long made it known of his interest in running for higher office, was notably active over the last four months, according to New Jersey Election Law Enforcement Commission records released last week. Pallone cut a $5,000 check to the Democratic Committee of Bergen County and $2,750 to the Passaic County Democratic Committee.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker contributed $6,500 to the Bergen Democrats. And perhaps the most intriguing is the $10,000 Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver of East Orange sent to the Bergen Democrats last October.

Oliver has recently expressed interest in running for the seat, currently held by Frank Lautenberg. Oliver fanned the speculation last week when delivering some pointed remarks at the New Jersey Society Inaugural ball that were aimed at Booker. …

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