Wednesday, April 06, 2005

The Guv? I finally checked out Bret Schundler's campaign website -- he's running for governor of New Jersey this year. Schundler was mayor of Jersey City when I was working there. He was popular, extremely talented, and a promising young moderate who got elected by consistently returning to parochial issues and avoiding the tropes of the national parties' agendas. There was a brief press swoon over him in the 90s, and he ran for governor in 2001, only to lose to Jim "Give the Briefing to My Gay Israeli Lover" McGreevey, mainly because the GOP would not support him.

Schundler's a bit of a question mark on abortion, having tried to downplay the issue previously. (New Jersey does have a lot of Catholics, but the mayor of Jersey City has little power to influence abortion rights, so he was able to kick the issue down the road; now he's caught up to it.) He may or may not have some sexual skeletons in his closet (though, post-McGreevey, what the hell could surprise the Garden State?). On top of that, the New Jersey GOP is a total shambles. And New Jersey (unlike Massachusetts) is a liberal state that has shown no serious willingness to elect conservatives to statewide offices. (Former governor Christie Whitman, a nominal Republican, at best, is case in point.)

Anyhow, in 1994-ish, my boss (a Hudson/Bergen county real estate developer) and I were walking around Jersey City and saw Schundler. My boss introduced me (briefly) to him and, after we walked away, said to me, "Keep your eye on Schundler. That guy is going to be a star." I've been watching with curiosity ever since.

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