A Revealing and Exclusive Interview with Barbara Buono

BY MICHAEL HAYNE
NEWJERSEYNEWSROOM.COM

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She is faced with limited name recognition and hears every would-be pundit with a blog telling her that she has no chance defeating New Jersey’s popular incumbent governor.

And? So what?

Unwavering perseverance is the essence of New Jersey’s vibrant and very determined Democratic State Senator, Barbara Buono, who has the herculean task of convincing voters why Christie doesn’t deserve reelection. New Jersey’s brash and forceful governor may wear his “Jersey Guy” image more often than that oversized fleece during the Superstorm Sandy. Buono, who also has deep Jersey roots, may want to call herself a “Jersey Gal.”

But Governor Christie, now the Patron Saint of Hurricanes, was at one time a mere mortal faced with daunting challenges. In 2009, then candidate Christie lacked the personal fortune and vast war chest of Democratic Governor Corzine and of his star endorsements, including President Obama, who appeared with Corzine at a major rally in the summer of 2009. So crazier things are known to happen – especially when a politician can be brought down in an age of instant media. Although Christie may seem untouchable on the surface, he has vulnerabilities, too. Moreover, vulnerabilities that Buono will have to pounce on like a Samoan Sumo.

In an effort to get to know the Democratic opponent who many say is committing suicide by running against Christie, I spoke with State senator Buono over the phone. Senator Buono spoke with great vigor about her plans to address some of the state’s more pressing woes, her personal background, unique ties to New Jersey and its middle class, and if she prefers Bon Jovi’s music to Bruce Springsteen. You know, the real hardball question that most Jersey voters may want to know.

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Lautenberg and Booker's tortured history shows up in campaign

By Matt Friedman/The Star-Ledger
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on July 29, 2013

TRENTON — Days before Newark Mayor Cory Booker announced he wanted to run for the U.S. Senate seat held by Frank Lautenberg in December, the two men’s top aides tried to negotiate over the phone.

Newark Mayor Cory Booker (second from left) and U.S. Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) (far right) are pictured in Newark in 2009. (Aristide Economopoulos/The Star-Ledger)

 

Lautenberg Chief of Staff Dan Katz told Booker adviser Mark Matzen the 88-year-old senator likely would retire, according to two former Lautenberg staffers who recounted the conversation on the condition of anonymity.

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Christie joins Essex County Democrats on walk through Newark's Ironbound section

NEWARK — Gov. Chris Christie took his re-election campaign to the steamy streets of New Jersey's largest city today — and touted a message of bipartisanship alongside two of the area's top Democrats.

The Republican governor walked through Newark's multicultural, working-class Ironbound section this morning, shaking hands, posing for pictures and signing autographs for residents.

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Oliver vows to fight for women, minorities as she opens U.S. Senate headquarters

NEWARK — Sheila Oliver said she's been asked over and over why she decided to enter the crowded race for the Democratic nomination in New Jersey's special U.S. Senate election — a race she's considered a long shot to win.

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