NJ Spotlight: District 27 Senate Race Snapshot
Well-known, long-time political force faces Republican newcomer.
With 55 times more cash than his Tea Party challenger, Sen. Richard J. Codey has a distinct monetary advantage in his quest for re-election in the 27th.
But that pot of money hasn't deterred a groundswell of opposition from conservatives who say Codey isn't their cup of tea. Meanwhile, Codey, a Democrat, has elicited numerous endorsements from Republicans.
On a recent rainy night in Livingston, some of Codey's detractors filled a music room at Livingston High School in Essex County, firing off a chorus of attacks on the powerful Democratic senator who has served in Trenton for nearly four decades, including 14 months as governor.
"I've watched 38 years of decay and I'm tired of it," said William Eames, co-founder of the Morris Patriots who is running as a Republican against Codey.
The challenger's candidacy has stirred interest in the race among voters from Republican communities in Morris County recently moved into the 27th.
However, despite Morris County being Eames' base, Codey has won endorsements from Republican politicians in Morris County, including the mayor of Eames' hometown of Hanover and a committeeman in Chatham Township, whose Republican mayor is seeking an Assembly seat in the 27th. Codey, who also coaches youth basketball, has been pushing the millionaire's tax and touting his accomplishments in mental health. He also signed the law increasing the state's minimum wage and New Jersey's indoor smoking ban and sponsored laws raising to 19 the age that smokers can buy tobacco and giving free community college tuition to high-performing high school seniors.