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Steve Sweeney Won’t Run for Governor in ’13

Sweeney bows of the out of the race before it starts, saying his attention is needed to keep Democrats in control of the state Legislature.

Stephen M. Sweeney, the state Senate president and West Deptford resident, decided not to run for governor this year.

Sweeney said on his Facebook page that his focus will center on keeping a Democratic majority in the state Legislature:

After careful consideration and much deliberation, I will not be a candidate for governor in 2013. I've decided my work now needs to be focused on ensuring the Legislature remains in Democratic control. Is there any question about the havoc and pain a Republican Legislature would inflict on the middle class, labor, women and our seniors? For over a decade, New Jersey voters have ensured we have a strong Democratic majority in both houses and I view it as absolutely essential and my job to keep that streak going. We will.

Sweeney, whose Third Legislative District covers all of Salem County and parts of Gloucester and Cumberland counties, was elected state senator in 2001. He began his term as Senate president in 2010. He also served on the Gloucester County Freeholder Board from 1997 to 2010.

New Jersey Democrats have struggled so far to put up a big name to challenge Republican Chris Christie for the governorship. Christie, who announced his re-election bid in November, has enjoyed a renewed surge of popularity following Superstorm Sandy. Even Democrats are behind him for approval ratings, and his re-election polling numbers are very strong, reports Newsworks.

A Jan. 23 Quinnipiac University poll on hypothetical governor races showed Christie trouncing any opponent by at least a 2-to-1 margin. He polled 61-25 percent over Sweeney.

In addition to the nationwide attention Christie received—from a Saturday Night Live appearance to a fundraiser hosted by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg—the incumbent also got a significant jump on building his re-election war chest. At the start of 2013, Christie already had $2 million in the bank. 

State Sen. Richard Codey, a Democrat who already served as acting governor after Jim McGreevey resigned in disgrace, already said he won't run in 2013, The (Bergen) Record reports. Ditto for Newark Mayor Cory Booker, who is running for U.S. Senate instead.

Right now, that leaves former state Senate Majority Leader Barbara Buono as the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. An Edison carpenter, William Araujo, also threw his hat into the ring for the nomination.

New Jersey's primary election is on June 4. Candidates must file petitions to run by April 1. 


Michael January 29, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Sweeney isn't qualified to be dog catcher, let alone governor. He is another political hack beholden to King George.
Schu January 29, 2013 at 07:39 PM
Vote this political hack out.
Skirtsweeney January 30, 2013 at 12:44 AM
So can we stop reading all the hack letters to the papers about how wonderful Sweeney is now. Wayne, Bill, is that o.k. to stop them now? At leats if you write more, tell the world that you and your family members work for the county and you have sold your souls out.
Samantha McCall February 02, 2013 at 01:28 AM
Ahhhh, that's a shame Sweeney that you will not be running! It is a shame you don't have the guts, because you obviously couldn't win on merit. Please stop your spew about the Republicans, because the Democrats have done nothing to help the middle class. Between your over-regulations and taxes, who would want to start a business here. Yes Steve, the middle class needs jobs.. Also, the state of New Jersey is one of the worst run states in the country, with the highest taxes, and let's not forget, the most corrupt. How does that equate to looking out for the middle class as you protest????
Samantha McCall February 02, 2013 at 01:29 AM
LOL....................... :0

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