A source close to Doherty told MMM that the senator is focused on his appointment to the State Senate Committee investigating the Christie Administration’s involvement in the George Washington Bridge lane closure scandal that has become know as Bridgegate. Doherty was one of three Republicans appointed to the seven member committee by Senate President Sweeney yesterday. Senators Kevin O’Toole (Essex and Passaic) and Gerald Cardinale (Bergen) are the other Republicans on the investigating committee. The Democrats are Senators Loretta Weinberg (Bergen), the Chair, Nicholas Scutari(Hudson) Nia Gill (Essex) and Linda Greenstein (Mercer and Middlesex).
“Mike would not have accepted that appointment if he were going to run for U.S. Senate,” this source said, “The party is in disarray and the investigation will be time consuming.”
Steve Lonegan, Booker’s opponent in the Special Election for U.S. Senate last October, told The Star Ledger that Doherty should run. Lonegan has announced his candidacy to the House of Representatives seat being vacated by Congressman Jon Runyan in New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District.
Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick announced this morning that he would not be challenging Booker.
West Orange businessman Brian Goldberg, a political newcomer, is the only announced Republican candidate to U.S. Senate to date.