We all remember when Bob Torricelli's wholly theoretical ethical deficiencies forced his withdrawal from the New Jersey Senate race in 2002 (Bob has since moved on to combined sotto capo/consigliere duties with a well regarded family enterprise in the New Jersey/New York/Palermo area). The Democratic Party took note of his difficulties and responded by substituting Frank Lautenberg using a little known loophole in existing New Jersey election law (referred to locally as the "you godda problem widdat, buddy?" clause).
Now, my question is: "Will the Democratic Party of New Jersey be able to find a good unindicted politician with sufficient statewide name recognition to replace Menendez if he is taken into custody?"
I've seen Codey's name kicked around as the sure fire winning replacement but can New Jersey Democrats be absolutely certain that he won't be in jail on November 7th? Wouldn't it be safer to run Lautenberg for the second seat too? He appears to have expired soon after the '02 election so there is little reason to think that he is currently the focus of an investigation.
Menendez is only down 5 points at the moment and even if indicted would not be tried until after the election. Perhaps the Democrats would be wiser to stick with him rather than going with 'Weekend at Frank's' Lautenberg for both seats. It's a tough call.
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