Former Asbury Park Mayor Ed Johnson is “seriously thinking about” running for governor in 2017, according to a report on PolitickerNJ.
“I know a little about raising cities from the dead, and I know about staring down Hurricane Sandy,” said Johnson, who runs his own private consulting firm. “There are no greater troubled waters than our state right now. Whether it’s Democratic or Republican it just keeps going.Everything I’ve done, people said ‘you can’t do that,’ and we did it. People now say the state is too far gone, too broken, it can’t be fixed. I think it can be. I’m not saying I’ve made a final decision. It would be a wildcat, barn-burner election, no question, but the people must regain control of this state.”
Johnson stared down Hurricane Sandy by hosting New Jersey Democratic leaders at a pre-election rally on October 28, 2012. Senator Bob Menendez, Cory Booker, then mayor of Newark, former Governor Dick Codey, Congressman Frank Pallone and state Senator Barbara Buono joined Johnson and Monmouth Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal in a rally for Menendez and President Obama while the rest of New Jersey was preparing for the worst and praying to be spared by the troubled waters of Sandy.
“You have all of the major leaders of the Democratic Party here in Asbury Park in support of President Obama. We are all united on one team,” Johnson said. “Asbury Park is a reflection of Obama’s America, an America that is inclusive of all of our communities. You have someone who was left with a mess that has been cleaning up the mess and has been moving us forward, versus someone who wants to go back to the exact ingredients that baked this cake. And that cake didn’t taste good. America choked on that cake.”
No one could have known how bad Sandy was going to be the day before it happened. We were all praying that the storm would blow out to sea so that we could make fun of the weather man. But serious government officials were preparing for the worst that came while Johnson, Gopal, Menendez, Booker, Codey, Pallone and Buono were holding a political rally in a coastal city that should have been evacuating. It’s unseemly in retrospect. It’s more unseemly that Johnson would cite his “staring down Hurricane Sandy” as a qualification for his being governor.
Before he runs for governor, if he does, Johnson is organizing a December junket to Cuba with Southside Johnny and the Asbury Jukes for the International Jazz Festival in Havana. He hopes to convince the Castro government to let Cuban educators and performing artists visit Asbury Park next summer.