Thigpen: Lautenberg’s successor won’t be able to deliver the way he did

Phil Thigpen, Democratic Party county chairman of the largest Democratic county in the state, mourned U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s (D-NJ) decision not to pursue re-election.

“Senator Lautenberg brought home the bacon,” Thigpen of Essex County said. “Whoever follows him won’t be able to do what he did. A new guy won’t be able to deliver like he did.”

U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-6) and Newark Mayor Cory Booker are both in the hunt for the seat.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) hasn’t ruled it out, and neither has Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34).

“At least Frank Pallone has some experience down there,” Thigpen said, a dig at Booker. “It’s too bad Lautenberg is going to go. Neither Pallone nor Booker will be able to deliver like Lautenberg, eventually they will.”

"It’s not a political environment that’s particularly warm for incumbents, but it looks like Booker has little to be worried about as the campaign season draws to a close."
—Krista Jenkins, poll director and professor of political science, FDU.