Cardinale: ‘I’m Lucky I lost that Republican Primary’ for Governor

When he considers what happened to the reputations of those governors with whom he served over the last number of years, among them Christie Todd Whitman and Chris Christie, veteran state Senator Gerald Cardinale (R-39) said he can’t help but feel that the governors of New Jersey bear a curse.

“I’m lucky I lost that Republican Primary,” Cardinale cracked, referring to the 1989 Republican contest, when he came in fifth in a statewide contest of eight Republicans.

U.S. Rep. Jim  Courter won that year, and went on to lose the general election to U.S. Rep. Jim Florio.

Cardinale received eight percent off the vote to Courter’s winning 29% in the GOP Primary, but it’s just as well, he told InsiderNJ.

When asked why the governors of New Jersey are doomed, the Republican senator from Demarest said despite New Jersey’s apparent status as a blue state, it really isn’t, as it thrives on transactionalism; and noted the symbiosis of longstanding families like the Keans and Wilentzes, who ride above the fray.

As for the current gubernatorial contest, Cardinale said Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno appears to have the upper-hand in her contest with Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-16).

“But then she has to go up against a guy with an unlimited back account [former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy],” Cardinale said. “Of course, it can be done. Jon Corzine lost his reelction bid – but that was only after he had proved himself to be incompetent.”


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