Former Somerset County Freeholder Brian Levine – a self-professed student of economics – today announced his intention to form an exploratory committee toward a run for the GOP nomination for governor.
InsiderNJ interviewed him on the heels of his announcement (see below).
“I get a little frustrated with how I see things happening in the state and I think it needs a fix,” Levine told InsiderNJ.
A certified public accountant who served as mayor of Franklin Township, Levine said he tires of “hypocrisy,” and offers “good strong fiscal management and leadership.”
Why didn’t he announce a run for governor instead of merely the start of an exploratory committee?
“I want to speak to a few people – colleagues. I’ve always been very grassroots… getting a feel from a bunch of people about what it will take,” he said.
Can his campaign be viable?
“It should be. I’m going to make a decision very shortly,” Levine said.
When the moderate Republican ran in 2009 he lost to eventual general election winner Chris Christie.
“Chris Christie was a gentleman,” Levine said. “He was very cordial and very nice.”
In today’s interview, Levine considered the budget decision-making processes of sitting Governor Phil Murphy, specifically objecting to the millionaire’s tax and the Horizon restructuring bill. He also assessed the era of President Donald J. Trump, who last year lost Somerset County on his way to losing the presidency.
Levine was a casualty of the era.
“It’s not quite my style,” he said of Trump, “but neither is the current governor calling people knuckleheads. You have to be tough but with a heart.”