While Chris Christie and Steve Lonegan are racing to the finish line, their staffs should be vetting potential running mates. For the first time in history, New Jersey will elect a Lt. Governor this year. The gubernatorial nominees choose their running mates and the person that will step in as governor during absences from the state and should the elected governor leave office.
I'd like to throw a name into the mix that has not been previously mentioned.
Reverend DeForest B. Soaries, Jr.
Soaries is the Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Lincoln Gardens in Somerset.
He was the Secretary of State in the Whitman administration and Chairman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission in the Bush administration. He ran for Congress against Rush Holt in 2002.
He is a widely respected African American leader.
One could argue that even suggesting Soaries is a cynical play of the race card. That he's only being mentioned because he is black. That might be so. But Christie, Lonegan and even Corzine wouldn't be candidates if they weren't white.
Democratic solutions to urban problems have not worked. They are not designed to work, they are designed to keep the poor dependent on the government and to keep them voting Democratic. This is true nationally and in New Jersey.
The New Jersey Republican Party has an historic opportunity to tackle urban problems with Republican principles of individual responsiblity and freedom. Christie has already alluded to tackling these problems with his education plan. He's talking about the moral failure of not educating our children in Abbott districts.
Politically, the NJGOP has written off Essex, Hudson and Camdem counties. That is a moral failure on the part of our party. We should be proposing real, conservative solutions to urban problems. We should unapologetically propose to revitalize our cities and to empower the families that live and work there.
Nominating a man like Dr. DeForest Soaries, and taking his lead on these important issues would be a good first step, morally and politically.
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