The New Jersey Express-Times is reporting that Brent Schundler intends to run for governor of New Jersey (hereinafter “NJG”) a second time.
Schundler said Friday the run will focus on placing a constitutional “speed limit” on the rate of spending growth; sending more state tax money to local towns and schools; requiring a three-fifths super majority to usher tax hikes through the Legislature; and a total ban on “pay-to-play” politics.
The theme of the campaign will be “Take Back New Jersey,” said Schundler, 44, a conservative whose first taste of politics came working on the 1984 presidential campaign of Democrat Gary Hart.
“Frankly, the only people who want things to stay the same are the politicians in Trenton who don’t want to be accountable to the people,” Schundler said Friday during a telephone interview. “This campaign is going to be about helping people take back New Jersey. We’re not simply proposing people vote for me.”
Schundler, who had a difficult primary fight last time, is now the third Republican to announce a run. It remains to be seen if he can recapture ground he won in the Republican primary of 2001. Schundler was a popular mayor before running in 2001. He will be joined in the primary by Douglas Forrester, who ran against Torricelli only to somehow lose to Frank Lautenberg and by Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano, R-Essex, former New Jersey Assembly Minority Leader.
On the Democratic side, Senator Corzine is expected to jump into the race challenging Governor, through McGreevy gay scandal resignation, Richard Codey. Having bought a Senate seat, Corzine expects to buy the NJG now. Interestingly, the Hotline is reporting that Connecticut’s Governor Jodi Rell, placed into office by Governor Rowland’s scandal induced resignation, is enjoying a honeymoon of sorts with the voters. Governor Rell is quite popular according to the polls. The Hotline speculates that Corzine might live to regret the day he failed to pressure former NJG McGreevy into an early resignation.
Last, but not least, the Hotline also floats rumors of a Steve Forbes run for NJG. The move is not likely as Forbes, along with Peggy Noonan, intend to be at a party for Brent Schundler tonight. The rumor orginated from a Newark Star-Ledger piece quoting former NJG Tom Kean as saying he told Forbes that the GOP would need a “first-class candidate” to run for NJG. Who knows, the way Former NJG Kean has taken to the spotlight of the 9/11 Commission, maybe he will run. No doubt he considers himself a first-class candidate.