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Sweeney Latest N.J. Democrat to Pass on Christie Challenge Sweeney Latest N.J. Democrat to Pass on Christie Challenge

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Sweeney Latest N.J. Democrat to Pass on Christie Challenge

photo of Kevin Brennan
January 28, 2013

Scratch another name off the list of potential Democratic opponents for New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie: State Senate President Steve Sweeney has decided to seek reelection rather than mount a bid for governor, according to PolitickerNJ.

Sweeney's decision leaves State Sen. Barabara Buono as the only Democratic candidate officially in the race at this time. State Sen. Richard Codey, a former interim governor, announced Friday that he wouldn't run, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker is preparing for a 2014 Senate bid.

The dearth of Democrats interested in challenging Christie speaks to the Republican's strong standing as he embarks on his reelection campaign. A Quinnipiac poll released last week showed Christie leading Buono by 36 percentage points.

With Sweeney and Codey both out of the running, it appears increasingly likely that Buono will eventually win her party's nod. Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell has said he will announce his intentions within the next two weeks, but most Garden State Democrats expect him to pass after winning a taxing member-versus-member primary against former Rep. Steve Rothman last year.

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