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Sweeney Doesn’t Rule Out Run for Governor

1-23-13

By Chief Political Correspondent Michael Aron
NJ Today

Steve Sweeney was asked today, if Dick Codey enters the race for governor, would Sweeney support Codey over the lone Democrat currently in the race — Sen. Barbara Buono.

“My job is to make sure that we field the strongest candidate against the governor, whether it’s Barbara, whether it’s me, whether it’s Dick, whether it’s Congressman [Bill] Pascrell. And it’s not putting my personal desires in front of what’s best for us as an organization. And that’s my focus, and I can read polls and Dick’s got good numbers,” Sweeney said.

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And he was asked when he’ll make up his mind.

“By the end of the month I think we all need to decide where we’re going as a party,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney’s comments came during a visit to an engineering firm in Wall Township.

KMB Design Group does telecom and energy engineering. It started five years ago with 24 employees. It now has 52 and projects in 40 states.

After a tour, Sweeney met with top management to hear their concerns, one of which was the collapse of the solar industry in New Jersey.

“Here with solar we became number two. Number one was California, so it’s pretty impressive that we’re number two. … We know it thrived. We need to get back to where it was,” said KMB Design Group Partner Mark Worthley.

Sweeney visited two small businesses today as part of a planned listening tour.

“We think that we have the answers in Trenton all the time, but these are the people that are actually in the trenches actually doing it and creating the jobs. Hearing from them what we can do better I think makes me more knowledgeable when we’re proposing legislation that we can do something good,” Sweeney said.

He said he could support Buono if she’s the Democratic nominee but that’s not clear yet.

“Just because someone goes out first doesn’t mean that that’s the candidate,” Sweeney said.

Sweeney said he’ll announce whether he is entering the governor’s race by the end of next week. Codey, meanwhile, had a conference call with his advisors this morning and could make his intentions known by the end of this week.