William ($236 cash on hand) Arajuo may not have money, but he insists he has the desire to run for governor, and takes umbrage at characterizations of state Sen. Barbara Buono (D-18) as the only declared Democratic Party candidate.
In fact, Arajuo isn’t the only early alternative, according to the state Election Law enforcement Commission (ELEC).
Carl Bergmanson of Glen Ridge and Jeff Boss, formerly of Guttenberg, also have active campaign accounts, but of the three, only Arajuo appears the most aggressively engaged at this time.
It may be time to rule out Boss.
He’s running for mayor of New York, according to his voicemail.
It was governor of New Jersey last time. There was a presidential bid thrown in there, too.
He has zero cash on hand, according to ELEC.
As for Bergmanson, a computer consultant and the former mayor of Glen Ridge, he said he hasn’t ruled out his own return to gubernatorial politics. He challenged Jon Corzine in the 2009 Democratic Primary and received 9% of the vote.
“I have not determined whether or not I’m going to be a candidate,” said Bergmanson ($1,721 cash on hand). “I’m testing the waters. I’m leaning toward getting more involved.
“Barbara Buono’s a lovely lady,” he added. “The best thing she has going for her is she fell out of favor with the guys running Trenton right now. She had the fall from grace with Sweeney, which is good – but she hurts herself when she embraces Norcross. What she should say is ‘George Norcross should kiss my ass’. Those guys, Norcross and Sweeney, are a big reason we have no credibility with the public right now. We have one of the smartest electorates in the country, and we can’t keep burning them.”
Bergmanson said he believes former Gov. Dick Codey would be a good candidate, and if Codey were to enter the race, Bergmanson might not be as inclined to run his own campaign.
For his part, Edison Planning Board Member and carpenter Arajuo said he’s in to win.
“We’re politicking in Paterson right now, in fact,” Arajuo told PolitickerNJ.com. “I just came from Bill Pascrell’s office, I was seeking his support. He was in a meeting, so he couldn’t see me. This is a grassroots campaign, but I’ve reached out to party chairs, including Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer. She told me, ‘We already endorsed Barbara Buono.’ I told her, ‘You should at least get to know all the candidates.’ She agreed to talk to me and we spoke for close to an hour.”
Arajuo said the media rankles him whenever it refers to Buono as the only Democratic candidate for governor.
“I was the first one to file, before Buono, before Booker made his decision,” the candidate said. “I keep telling these people we’re sending a clear message. I plan to represent all the people.”