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NJ Governor Race

Who is the weakest Republican candidate and what can we do to make sure he gets the nomination?
  • Franklin Township Mayor Brian Levine
  • U.S. Attorney Chris Christie
  • former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan
  • Assemblyman Rick Merkt (R-Morris).

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After seeing Anytown, USA (2005) a few times, my vote goes to Steve Lonegan. Unlikable doesn't begin to describe his persona.

Then again, in most part of New Jersey, the Democrats could run a poodle and, as long as it could smile nice, it would get elected. NJ voters can be pretty lazy, I don't think Corzine has much to worry about unless the various unions all turn against him and I don't see any union throwing its support to a Republican.

Out of all of the above, I'd be most concerned about Christie simply because he has the most relatively positive name recognition among voters.

Can you believe the Democrat he beat in Bogota has got many NJ Democrats like Thurman Hart convinced that the movie was a propaganda piece for Lonegan? It's true the movie didn't make him look like a good candidate at that stage in his life, either. But it didn't come out until well after the election, and Lonegan comes across as just awful.

The producer at the showing we went to did say that people's impression of Lonegan in the movie was very variable and highly correlated with their politics. But I can't imagine many independents would find him palatable at all. He seems to personify the slickness that independents often despise in politicians at the same time as being extreme.

I think I'm pretty centrist when it comes to voting and I thought he was just loathsome. I pondered the idea that maybe it was editing but everything Ive ever seen or read about him since then pretty much reinforces my initial impression.

I've known Brian since high school, from the Westfield Chess Club. He is among the least likeliest politicians I can imagine. And while I don't want him to win, we could do far worse. In a hypothetical race between, a bad Democrat like, say Sires and Levine, I'd vote for Levine.

That being said, his low key personality works well for local politics but I still think he's a mismatch for a media-centric, state-wide campaign. So I very much doubt he'll get the nomination, let alone beat Corzine.

IMO, Christie is by far the most formidable candidate, taking both the primary and November into account. So perhaps talking up Brian can actually serve a purpose. If he splits the sane primary vote with Christie, it makes it more likely that the entertaining but obviously obnoxious kook Lonegan will be Corzine's opponent. The only problem with that is while Christie would probably be no worse than Whitman and Lonegan probably would do worse than Jim Courter, I don't know that we want to do anything to propel the career of someone who combines the worst aspects of Jesse Ventura and Rush Limbaugh.

Thank you for filling in those details. I knew I should be concerned about Christie.

Wasn't Lonegan who wanted to sing Christmas carols to show that Christmas, in his opinion, does, in fact, belong in publicly funded displays? So I say let's nominate the guy who doesn't get it with separation of church and state.

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