Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bill in Works to Get Christie to Step Aside

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Bill in Works to Get Christie to Step Aside

Article excerpt

It only took a week into his presidential campaign for two of Governor Christie's most vocal critics to say they are ready for the governor to clean out his desk in Trenton. But a measure being crafted by two Democratic state senators that would require the governor to resign in order to run for president is missing a most crucial supporter: the governor himself.

That the legislation is in the works is not surprising, given that a recent poll said a majority of residents think Christie should step down now that he is running for president, and the Assembly speaker has said the governor should at least consider it.

But the bill's development is a turnaround for Loretta Weinberg, the state Senate majority leader from Teaneck. On the Monday before Christie's presidential announcement, Weinberg said that she was not yet ready to join the calls for Christie to depart.

Later that night, Christie announced he was directing expedited reviews of firearms permits submitted by domestic abuse victims, a move he said was "common sense" but others characterized as pandering to the conservative gun lobby just before the governor announced his presidential bid. Meanwhile, he did not take action on a bill sponsored by Weinberg to close a loophole to require domestic- violence offenders give up all their firearms.

"That kind of crystallized for me that Governor Christie is busy and going to continue being busy appealing to the average Republican primary voters, which is more often than not at odds with what the residents of New Jersey need and want," Weinberg said.

So she and Sen. Ray Lesniak of Union County started formulating a proposal that would require New Jersey's governor to resign as soon as he or she declares a campaign for president. State law calls for the lieutenant governor to fill a gubernatorial vacancy. Lesniak said the bill would be introduced the next scheduled quorum of the Senate, on July 20. Plans for the bill were first reported on Monday night by NJ Advance Media.

While Christie is seeking the 2016 Republican presidential nomination, he is insisting that he insists he isn't going anywhere before his term is up in 2017 unless he becomes president and has to resign. …

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