A top New Jersey Democrat seriously considered pushing an effort to recall Republican Gov. Chris Christie but ultimately decided against it because of potential risks if the effort proved unsuccessful.
Democrats’ anger over Christie’s budget cuts had Assemblyman John Wisniewski, the state party chairman, plotting to collect the 1.3 million signatures that would be necessary to remove the governor from office, the Newark Star-Ledger reported Sunday.
But the idea was dropped because of concerns that a failure to collect the necessary signatures — which would mean getting nearly all 1.7 million of the state’s registered Democrats to sign to build in a cushion against challenges — might end up strengthening Christie and establishing a precedent for future recalls against Garden State governors.
Wisniewski declined to comment to the Star-Ledger and did not immediately respond to POLITICO’s request for comment Monday.
A recall would dredge up legal confusion, the Star-Ledger said, since Democrats believe that a recall would also pull Christie’s Republican lieutenant governor, Kim Guadagno, from office, putting the Democratic state senate president in the governor’s chair. If their interpretation is wrong and Guadagno could take the job, she could choose to appoint Christie as lieutenant governor and then quit, giving him back the governor’s mansion.
New Jersey’s major political parties haven’t launched recall efforts, though other groups have. One led by a liberal group is already under way against Christie and two Democratic lawmakers. In 2008, the mayor of an Essex County borough launched a recall effort against then-Gov. Jon Corzine.