Skip to main content

Chris Christie's big night aside, last night wasn't a very good night for the New Jersey GOP. Despite his big win, Christie turned out to have zero coattails as the Dems easily kept control of both houses of the state legislature with the bare minimum of change (one seat in the Assembly, none in the Senate), a humiliating turn of events that might cost Tom Kean Jr. his post as Minority Leader after his boasts of reclaiming the Senate blew up in his face. And now they get this further bad bit of news:

U.S. Rep. Jon Runyan, a Republican who went from the gridiron to Capitol hill, announced today he will not seek re-election to Congress.
Runyan, the former Philadelphia Eagles standout, was first elected as part of the GOP wave in 2010, unseating the late Jon Adler and won reelection last fall against Adler's widow.  Why is he quitting? According to him, the usual "spend more time with the family" excuse:
“After a great deal of thought and discussions with my family, I have decided not to seek re-election in 2014. Politics shouldn't be a career and I never intended to make it one,” Runyan said. “ While it has truly been an honor to serve the people of New Jersey’s 3rd Congressional District, at this stage in my life, and more importantly, the lives of my three children, spending time with them is my top priority. As I serve out the rest of my term, I will continue to work hard on behalf of the people of South Jersey."
Another reason, however, may be this:
Runyan, a moderate, grew frustrated with his party's decision to shut down the government over Obamacare, calling the move "utterly ridiculous."
I don't know if I'd call Runyan a moderate, but I did notice he was always lukewarm at best about the shutdown.

Whatever his reasons, this is another GOP seat now in play next year. Both the Cook Political Report and Rothenberg Political Report have moved the race to "Tossup" status (with Runyan it had been either "safe GOP" or "likely GOP"). Expect this race to move now to the top-tier of Dem targets for next November.

And coming not long after the even more unexpected retirement of Tim Griffin, one can only wonder if more Republicans are going to follow his and Runyan's example. It's just a trickle, but will it turn into a flood? Time will tell.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site