The chairman of the New Jersey Democratic Party has decided not to challenge Gov. Chris Christie (R) in next year's gubernatorial race.
Assemblyman John Wisniewski (D-Sayreville) told The Star-Ledger Sunday that he does not believe that it is the "right time" to run for governor, and that he prefers to focus on his private law practice and political responsibilities. Wisniewski's decision came the same day that Newark Mayor Cory Booker (D), the Democratic gubernatorial frontrunner, said on CBS' "Face The Nation" that he would make a decision "within the next two weeks" about entering the gubernatorial race. Booker is also considering a 2014 race for the U.S. Senate.
Several Democrats have been considering the race against Christie, who is enjoying a 72 percent approval rating in the wake of his handling of Hurricane Sandy, which ravaged the Garden State. New Jersey Senate president Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford), a potential candidate, told The Huffington Post last week that Christie's approval rating had been as low as 47 percent prior to the hurricane, and noted that a head-to-head match-up between Christie and Booker had the Republican at 53 percent.
In addition to Booker and Sweeney, state Sens. Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen) and Richard Codey (D-Roseland) and Elizabeth Mayor Chris Bollwage (D) are considering becoming gubernatorial candidates. Buono is a former Senate majority leader, while Codey served 14 months as governor following the 2004 resignation of former Gov. Jim McGreevey (D). Sweeney is also considering a 2014 U.S. Senate race.
Wisniewski's decision not to enter the race comes after he has been increasingly critical of Christie's national GOP role over the course of 2012, along with his handling of Hurricane Sandy. Last month, he told PolitickerNJ that he believes that he "could do a better job" handling the hurricane.
Wisniewski's criticism of Christie's out-of-state travel on behalf of Republican candidates was slammed as "absurd" by state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. (R-Westfield), who said that state legislative Democrats did not convene the legislature the entire summer. Wisniewski, a nine-term assemblyman, said he would seek reelection in his Middlesex County district. Wisniewski was elected state Democratic chairman in 2009.
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"It's Not My Time" (3 Doors Down)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/04/chris-christie-2012-decision-_n_993910.html" target="_hplink">(Oct. 4, 2011) --</a></strong> Christie announced that he will not run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2012, vowing that "now is not my time." He quipped to New Jersey residents "whether you like it or not, you're stuck with me."
"Need You Now" (Lady Antebellum)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/11/chris-christie-mitt-romney_n_1005601.html" target="_hplink"><strong>LEBANON, N.H. (Oct. 11, 2011) --</strong></a> After dismissing calls to run for president himself, Christie endorsed Romney, telling the GOP that he is the candidate we need now.
"How Do I Live" (LeAnn Rimes)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/07/chris-christie-town-hall_n_1133756.html" target="_hplink">WEST NEW YORK, N.J. (Dec. 7, 2011) --</a></strong> At a local town hall, Christie did not take kindly to a <a href="http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2011/12/video_chris_christie_asked_if.html" target="_hplink">constituent's question</a> about how his administration conducts these types of meetings. He showed the individual little mercy, going "if I plant questions, why the hell did I call on you?"
"Can You Feel The Love Tonight" (Elton John)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/12/08/chris-christie-mic-checked-occupy-wall-street_n_1136762.html" target="_hplink">(Dec. 8, 2011) --</a></strong> Occupy Wall Street protesters interrupted Christie during an appearance in Iowa, making him a target of the movement's "mic check" trend.
"Shut Up" (The Black Eyed Peas)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/02/22/chris-christie-warren-buffett_n_1294579.html" target="_hplink">(Feb. 21, 2012) --</a></strong> In an interview with CNN's Piers Morgan, Christie had some choice words for Warren Buffett, surrounding the billionaire investor's desire to be taxed at a higher rate. "Just write a check and shut up," he remarked.
"American Idiot" (Green Day)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/christie-argues-with-veteran_n_1334963.html" target="_hplink">(March 9, 2012) --</a></strong> Christie argued with a former Navy SEAL over the New Jersey's plans to reconfigure public universities. The result? Some fire from the governor's tongue, as he called the veteran an "idiot."
"Call Me Maybe" (Carly Rae Jepsen)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/13/chris-christie-talks-vp-p_n_1423271.html" target="_hplink">(April 13, 2012) --</a></strong> Throughout Mitt Romney's run for the White House, Christie made it known that he was open to a vice presidential nod (should Romney ask him).
"Rocky Ground" (Bruce Springsteen)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/19/chris-christie-sleeping-bruce-springsteen-_n_1438337.html" target="_hplink">(April 19, 2012) --</a></strong> Christie vehemently denied reports that he was sleeping at a Bruce Springsteen concert in New York City. <em><strong>
"I Don't Really Care" (Waka Flocka Flame)
<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/04/30/chris-christie-jimmy-kimmel_n_1465608.html" target="_hplink">(April 30, 2012) --</a> Christie responded to jokes comedian Jimmy Kimmel made about his weight at the 2012 White House Correspondents Dinner, throwing Sofia Vergara into the mix. "I figured I was in the zone of danger," he said.
"Ready Or Not" (The Fugees)
<strong><a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/14/chris-christie-gop-keynote-convention_n_1774525.html" target="_hplink">(Aug. 14, 2012) --</a></strong> After entertaining the idea of running for president and making Mitt Romney's short list of VP candidates, Christie was named the keynote speaker at the 2012 Republican National Convention. "I'll try to tell some very direct and hard truths to people in the country about the trouble that we're in and the fact that fixing those problems is not going to be easy for any of them," he told <em>USA Today</em>.