Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford overcame the scandal of his marital infidelity and abandoning his state. He was elected in a special election to the U.S House of Representatives last night.
Could former New Jersey Governor Jim McGreevey launch a similar comeback?
Sanford won by 9 points in a district that went for Mitt Romney by 18 points last November. Nate Silver argues that 13% of South Carolina’s 1st district voters withheld their support of Sanford over his sex scandal. McGreevey lives in Rush Holt’s 12 Congressional District of New Jersey. McGreevey could win that seat if it was open, unless Scott Sipprelle was the GOP nominee, but he wouldn’t challenge Holt in a primary.
But what about U.S. Senate? Senator Frank Lautenberg announced he is retiring. Newark Mayor Cory Booker won’t say if he is running, officially. Booker strung the Democratic Party along for too long before announcing he wouldn’t run for governor this year. McGreevey wouldn’t really be stepping on Booker’s toes if he announced a candidacy for U.S. Senate.
Congressman Frank Pallone says he wants Lautenberg’s job. He wouldn’t be too happy if McGreevey entered the senate race. But McGreevey offered Pallone the opportunity to become a senator in 2002 when Senator Robert Torricelli dropped out of his reelection campaign. McGreevey doesn’t owe Pallone anything.
Gay Rights is the progressive social issue of our day. Who would be a better standard bearing for Gay Rights in a New Jersey U.S. Senate race. Booker, Pallone or McGreevey?
McGreevey will appear with Governor Christie at the Hudson County Jail this morning. They are holding a press conference about the work that McGreevey is doing as a minister to incarcerated women. There will probably be YouTubes and spots on the evening news.
Timing is everything, they say, in politics. A governor driven from office in a sex scandal being elected to congress is good timing for McGreevey.