STATE—Dr. Frank Esposito, selected to run for lieutenant governor on a ticket with independent Christopher Daggett, is a Kean University professor who is well known among both Democrats and Republicans in Union County.
Esposito, who helped develop alternative school policies for Gov. Thomas Kean and Gov. Christie Whitman, is the dean of Kean’s College of Education and he was interim university president in 2002 and 2003.
By completing the requirement of naming a candidate for lieutenant governor, Daggett, the first independent candidate for governor to qualify for public financing in New Jersey history, is now able to collect about $700,000 in 2-for-1 matching funds for his campaign.
Daggett served as his deputy chief of staff to Gov. Thomas Kean before he was appointed Regional Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in 1984 and later became commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection.
Republican Chris Christie chose Monmouth County Sheriff Kim Guadagno as his running mate while incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine named state Sen. Loretta Weinberg after making a circus of the process and giving serious consideration to a TV game show contestant.
Daggett said scores of arrests for political corruption demonstrate why a change from major party leadership is needed.
“The only way to change New Jersey this year is to change our governor, and it will take a governor of neither party, someone with no axe to grind and a proven record of bringing people together, to solve these problems,” said Daggett. “Only an independent who is not worried about whether his party will pick up seats in the next election can make the tough decisions needed in the years ahead to make New Jersey competitive, affordable, and prosperous again.”
“The cancer of corruption, both outside the law and under the cover of law, is so deeply embedded in our government that—unless we are going to put the FBI on a monthly retainer to watch our politicians—only a truly big change is going to make any difference,” Daggett said.
Vice President Joe Biden cancelled a visit to New Jersey scheduled four days after federal agents conducted a roundup of 44 corrupt politicians, including a mayor who had been in office just 16 days when he allegedly accepted a $10,000 bribe after greeting President Obama at a rally for Corzine in Holmdel.
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