The success of Bob Menendez’s political career might be because of bad staff work. The story starts in 1976, when Hudson County gave Jimmy Carter a paltry 23,605 vote margin against Gerald Ford. Assembly Speaker Joseph LeFante (D-Bayonne), largely blamed for shepherding Gov. Brendan Byrne’s unpopular state income tax through the legislature, almost lost his bid for Hudson’s open congressional seat. He beat Republican Anthony Campenni by just 6,855 votes.
Jeff Bell’s upset victory over four-term U.S. Senator Clifford Case in the 1978 Republican primary was one of the great political campaigns in New Jersey history. Bell was a 35-year-old speechwriter for Ronald Reagan’s 1976 presidential campaign, and Case became the only incumbent U.S. Senator in New Jersey history to lose a primary. Bell, who died on Saturday at the age of 74, was a thinker, an intellectual who was
The most frustrating thing for Rep. Rodney Proctor Frelinghuysen has got to be that he’s reached the zenith of his political career, only to face the inconvenience of an election. He’s being tagged as out of touch; that’s something incumbents often overcome. His greatest challenge is a complete unfamiliarity with campaigning against Democrats in competitive general elections. For Frelinghuysen, this is his family business. It’s a long, long story --