New Jersey State Senator Stephen Sweeney announced this morning that he will not run for governor in 2017. The State Senate President said in a statement issued from his office that it “is no secret that I seriously considered running, and I believe I would have been able to win the general election and return to the Governor’s mansion to Democratic Control.”
The announcement enhances the candidacy of Phil Murphy who announced he was entering the race on May 16. Murphy has been consolidating his support in North Jersey. Last week’s announcement that Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop would not run for governor and would endorse Murphy further strengthened the latter’s base of political support.
Sweeney’s statement continued, “As a proud Ironworker for almost 40 years, I understood the hard work it would take to win. However, in the last few days it has become clear that Phil Murphy has been able to secure substantial support from Democratic and community leaders that would make my bid all but impossible.”
Murphy, a former Goldman Sachs executive and US Ambassador to Germany, loaned his campaign $10 million.
Meanwhile, an article that appeared today on Philly.Com (The Inquirer) reported that a Super PAC backing Sweeney’s expected candidacy began raising money in June 2015. Named New Jersey for a Better Tomorrow, it reported having more than $1.2 million in the bank as of July 2016. The same article mentioned that a PAC backing Fulop had $3.2 million, according to campaign finance records.
Sweeney will seek re-election as Senate president. He has served in the Senate since 2002 and has been Senate President since 2010.Related Articles: