Geraldo Rivera has “reluctantly” decided against running for US Senate from New Jersey.
Although this may come as no surprise anyone who believed from the outset that the Fox News personality was just grandstanding and publicity seeking, Rivera appears to have some practical reasons for reaching this conclusion, which also included references to the Lord of the Rings.
Back in January, the former ABC and NBC correspondent said he was considering making a political bid as a Republican, a political affiliation that was a revelation to virtually everyone. But after talking it over with his family and past Republican candidates, he said he decided against it in part because he lacks the resources to comply with Gov. Chris Christie’s time line.
Instead of holding the US Senate contest on a regularly Election Day in either November 2013 or 2014, Christie announced that a special election to fill out the late Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s term will occur on October 16. Primary day for both parties will be August 13. To compete in the primary, the necessary paperwork including petition signatures must be submitted tomorrow, the same day he would have had to quit Fox pursuant to federal law. Christie appointed state AG Jeff Chiesa to be interim Senator until the October balloting. Lautenberg, 89, who was not running for re-election, died last Monday.
Moreover, even if he was still “juiced” to make a run, Rivera — like most observers — believes that media favorite Cory Booker, the Newark mayor, is going to be a shoo-in for the job anyway, so why bother. “[L]ikely Democratic candidate Newark mayor Corey Booker is popular, flush with cash and buoyed by Hollywood, Silicon Valley and an adoring press. The electoral clash therefore will be as one-sided as Théoden faced when leading his riders against Mordor … In a meeting Thursday night with my wife Erica and two adult daughters … the ladies of my life argued strenuously against a campaign odyssey that would exhaust our finances and expose us to the ravages of unlimited Super PAC money and tabloid scrutiny.”
New Jersey hasn’t elected a Republican US Senator since 1972.
Apart from Booker (who previously vowed that he was going to finish out his term as mayor), Democrat Rep. Rush Holt and Republican Steve Lonegan have announced for the seat, and Holt’s colleague Frank Pallone is also expected to run.
Another Democrat, Sheila Oliver, the state Assembly speaker, who is also from Newark, is also expected to file the necessary signatures tomorrow, which could possibly complicate Booker’s task given their overlapping constituency. At the time of Christie’s special election announcement, Oliver issued a statement that likely reflected the feelings of those on both sides of the political aisle. “I’m very disappointed the governor has chosen to be so transparently political and waste taxpayer money on a special October election. The November general election date is what’s best for taxpayers and voter turn-out. It’s unquestionably the best option, but Gov. Christie has chosen to put partisan politics and his self-interest first.”