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August 17, 2004

McGreevey: Out of the Closet, Into the Street?

Even some NJ Democrats now believe that McGreevey's plan to resign after the election is too fabulous by half:

A number of New Jersey Democratic and Republican leaders finally agree on something: Gov. James McGreevey, who appointed a man who aides have said was his gay lover to a high-paying anti-terrorism job, should resign sooner than planned.

When he announced last week that he was gay and had a homosexual affair, McGreevey, 47, a married father of two, said he would step down Nov. 15. That meant the state Senate president would become governor for nearly a year. The deadline for a special election is Sept. 3.

Since the Senate president, Richard Codey, is a Democrat, Republicans are howling. Editorial pages across the state also have urged McGreevey to quit now.

Now some state Democratic leaders are working behind the scenes to force McGreevey aside. They want to avoid more political damage to the party. And they want U.S. Sen. Jon Corzine (news, bio, voting record) to run in a special election this November because he would be the early favorite.

In a short campaign against a Republican opponent, Corzine would be formidable, if only because of name recognition. He spent $63 million of his own money to win his Senate race in 2000. He probably would not even need his personal wealth in a short campaign.

"If the Democrats have Corzine in the bag, there's no way McGreevey will stay," said Alan Rosenthal, a Rutgers University political scientist.

Well, whether McGreevey resigns now or later, it's highly probable NJ will continue having a Democratic governor. Still-- when your party screws up this bad, it's only right that the competition should have a fair shot.

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posted by Ace at 03:46 PM

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