The Republican screw up that made Menendez Mayor

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. 

The Life and Times of Jeff Bell

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

Jeff Bell dies at 74

Conservative icon Jeff Bell, a former Ronald Reagan speechwriter who toppled a four-term United States Senator in a Republican primary, died last night.  He was 74. In 1978, Bell mounted a primary challenge against Clifford Case, a liberal Republican who had spent 24 years in the Senate.  The 35-year-old Bell beat Case by 3,473 votes (50.7%-49.3%).  He lost the general election to former New York Knicks player Bill Bradley by

Montclair councilman considering House bid

William Hurlock, a two-term councilman from Montclair, is giving strong consideration to a bid for the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district. His potential candidacy will create some interest, since he’s been able to win local elections in Montclair, one of the most Democratic suburban towns in the state.  Hurlock defeated incumbent Rich Murnick by a 57%-43% margin in 2012 and ran unopposed for re-election in 2016.

Six things about Jay Webber

Six things to know about Jay Webber, who announced today that he would seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey's 11th district: 1. Webber grew up in Passaic County, played baseball at Johns Hopkins.  He was a Rhodes Scholar semi-finalist before going to Harvard Law, where he met his wife. 2. He worked on Rep. Bill Martini’s congressional staff and clerked for state Supreme Court Justice Peter Verniero. 

Kyrillos leaving after 30 years

Joe Kyrillos will begin the next chapter of his life tomorrow after thirty years in the New Jersey Legislature -- and as one of the top vote-getters in Monmouth County history. In early 1987, I was serving as Executive Director of the Assembly Republican Majority campaign committee.  The GOP was looking for a candidate to hold a 13th district Assembly seat going into Gov. Tom Kean’s second mid-term election. Roger

The story of Rodney’s long and painful path to Congress

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 --