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New Jersey: Adler Nears $1.2 Million in Race for Saxton’s Seat

State Sen. John Adler (D) announced Wednesday that he raised $529,000 in the first three months of 2008, bringing his total take for the race to replace retiring Rep. Jim Saxton (R) to almost $1.2 million.

“People across the district are excited by John Adler’s values, brand of passion and fresh ideas to change Washington,” said campaign manager Raiyan Syed.

Adler represents one of House Democrats’ best pickup hopes in a district that is a battleground between the parties in presidential elections.

Businessman Chris Myers and Ocean County Freeholder Jack Kelly are competing for the Republican nomination. Kelly recently said he has raised about $200,000 for the campaign, while Myers has yet to say what he’s taken in.

Top Democrat Won’t Take on Rep. LoBiondo

The announcement came on April Fools’ Day, but Democrats weren’t laughing.

State Sen. Jeff Van Drew (D), who national Democrats were trying to recruit into the race against seven-term Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R) despite the fact that he just won his Senate seat last fall, told local media that he would not run.

“We are approaching the most complex and challenging budget in the state’s history, and for that reason, I’m going to stay where I am for now, although I will clearly look forward to the day when I will run for the United States Congress,” Van Drew told The Daily Journal.

Democrats believe that they can give LoBiondo a tough race in a district that swings between Democrats and Republicans in presidential years — if they can find the right candidate. But it may be too late to do so this cycle, though Van Drew would not rule out the possibility of running in 2010.

With Van Drew out of the picture, Democrats may now turn to their 2006 nominee, former Fairfield Mayor Viola Thomas-Hughes (D).
— Josh Kurtz

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