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« Doolittle Out? | Blog Home Page | Mark Your Calendars »

Ferguson Out In NJ

Four-term moderate Republican Rep. Mike Ferguson will announce he will not seek re-election, PolitickerNJ reports, opening another seat for Democrats to target and Republicans to lose sleep over. Ferguson, who is just 37 years old, will say he prefers to spend more time with his young children.

Ferguson's 7th District, which spans from the Pennsylvania border nearly to Newark Airport and includes Edison, Woodbridge and Linden, re-elected the congressman by just two points last year over Assemblywoman Linda Stender. This year, Stender is running again and already has about $225,000 cash on hand. Ferguson leaves the House with more than $750,000 in the bank.

As Republicans begin looking for a candidate, their eyes will likely turn to a familiar face: The district is home to State Sen. Tom Kean Jr., whose failed run for Senate in 2006 left him with a rolodex full of deep-pocketed donors he should be able to tap again.

A Kean bid would be the GOP's best hope in keeping a district that gave President Bush just a 3,000-vote margin over Al Gore in 2000, and a wider 6-point edge in 2004. Still, the loss of a seasoned campaigner like Ferguson is another blow to the NRCC, which can't take much more punishment these days.