Political insiders make it clear, that at this point in time, biotech entrepreneur John Crowley is still strongly considering running for Governor of New Jersey.
So far there are already two declared candidates for New Jersey’s Republican gubernatorial nomination. Assemblyman Richard Merkt and former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan.
Both of these men deserve to be heard and are worth watching. Not only do they have substantial records on the issues but they were also brave enough to throw their hats in the same ring that is likely to contain, now former U.S. Attorney Chris Christie. With all the hoopla over Chris Christie’s possible entry into the race, many other potential candidates opted out of even trying. But not Merkt and Lonegan. That alone warrants their right to be heard.
So we already have two strong willed, determined aspirants for the nomination and that is a good thing, a very good thing.
Another potentially prominent presence in the growing field of Republican candidates could come from an incumbent mayor.
Brian Levine has twice won election as Franklin Township’s mayor. Not an easy job in a town that is heavily weighed in favor of democrats.
Levine has the type of crossover appeal that we will need to win back the keys to Drumthwacket in November. If Levine does declare his candidacy for the nomination, the question will become, does his crossover appeal to Democrats turn off the more conservative wing of the Republican party that would nominate him?
Presuming that Chris Christie does run, Lonegan’s, Merkt’s and possibly Levine’s, efforts, will at least force Chris Christie to do some real campaigning of his own for the nomination.
Although Christie brings the name recognition and seeming ability to tap into the financial resources that a successful campaign requires, I do not want the party to simply coronate him. I want him to earn the nomination. Make clear his positions on the issues, articulate his plans for the state and prove that he has the ability to get his message across in a way that people can believe.
As official candidates for the GOP nomination, Steve Lonegan and Richard Merkt will help to make sure that Chris has to prove himself. But truthfully, both Merkt and Lonegan are slightly handicapped in their ability to force Christie to play on the same field as them. Neither of them have the name I.D. that Christie does and neither of them have the access to the amount of money that is needed to be truly competitive and that Christie can tap into. The same holds true in the case of Levine’s possible candidacy.
Money is not everything but in politics, unfortunately, it means a lot.
That brings us to back to John Crowley. He has money.
John Crowley is a self-made, independently wealthy man with a compelling and inspirational history that brings even more to the table than just the money that is needed.
After studying at the U.S. Naval Academy for three semesters, he graduated with degrees in foreign service from Georgetown University and went on to obtain his J.D from Notre Dame Law School and then worked as a litigation associate in the health care industry.
Crowley furthered his education and received an M.B.A from Harvard Business School. From there he went on to work for a San Francisco based management consulting firm.
In 1998, John Crowley was handed the greatest challenge of his life. His wife, Aileen gave birth to twins, Patrick and Megan. Both were born with a fatal neuromuscular disorder called Pompe disease.
The disorder was so rare that few if any pharmaceutical entities attempted to develop treatment or cures for Pompe.
Determined, the Crowley’s settled in Princeton, to be near doctors who were specializing in Pompe disease.
John Crowley subsequently took up employment with Bristol-Meyers Squibb but after two years he left Bristol-Meyers to embark on a new venture. A venture that sought to increase the pace of research into Pompe and the development of a cure for it. It was a race against time that was slowly taking the lives of his children.
He became the CEO of a biotech company called Novazyme. In short time Novazyme merged with the world’s largest biotech company, Genzyme Corp., and soon after that the combined efforts of the two, brought about by John Crowley, led to the creation of an enzyme replacement therapy for Pompe disease that is keeping the Crowley kids alive today.
Getting to that point was not easy and there were a great many trials and tribulations, but John Crowley, his wife, and the team he assembled never gave up.
The story is the stuff that books are written about and about which movies are made.
A Pulitzer prize winning author actually did write a book about it. It is called “The Cure: How a Father Raised $100 Million – And Bucked the Medical Establishment – In a Quest to Save His Children” (ISBN 978-0060734398).
On top of that Harrison Ford has procured the rights to turn the Crowley story into a movie that he will also co-star in.
So, to say that John Crowley is a storybook candidate, is not just an understatement. It is true.
Now, at 41, Crowley is an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve and is currently the President and CEO of Cranbury, New Jersey based, Amicus Therapeutics. He is also considering running for the Republican party’s gubernatorial nomination.
I hope he does.
That is not an endorsement of his potential candidacy but it is a sign of my eagerness to get to know what John Crowley would do as our Governor. He obviously is a talented, determined man with spirit, ingenuity a strong sense of commitment and a can do attitude and work ethic.
As is the case with Chris Christie, I do not know where John Crowley stands on the issues, but I hope we will be able to find out in a hard fought primary battle for the nomination.
Unlike Lonegan and Merkt, Crowley has the money needed to establish the name I.D. that Christie has. That would help even the playing field and insure that Chris Christie will have to earn the nomination as opposed to having it handed to him by the party establishment.
If Crowley enters the race, the entirety of the pro-Christie, Republican, establishment has the potential for splintering up. That is made apparent by Mercer County Chairman Roy Wesley who is the G.O.P. leader of the county that Crowley lives in.
It is reported that, right now, Wesley is “leaning toward” either Christie or Crowley.
Seeing as how we all know that Christie will be running but are not yet sure if Crowley will, the “either or” answer of Wesley makes sense. Why piss off Christie now by backing someone who may not run? However that “either or” response bodes well for Crowley and can best be interpreted to mean that if Crowley runs Wesley will endorse him but if he doesn‘t run, Chris Christie can count on Wesley‘s support.
The Chairmen of Union and Salem counties have already indicated that they are leaning to Christie. Monmouth county’s Republican chairman, Joe Oxley, has not gone that far, but nearly.
According to PolitickerNJ, Oxley stated that “everybody’s anticipating, hoping and expecting that Chris may very well enter the race”. He added that he is good friends with Christie and that Christie will have lots of support throughout the county.
Regardless of the opinions established at this point in time, if Crowley does enter the race, he will certainly shake things up. Many uncommitted county leaders and organizations will probably find themselves impressed with Crowley. He may even have the capacity to change the minds of many individuals currently inclined to support, Lonegan, Merkt or Chris Christie.
Personally, I look forward to Crowley’s interest in the governor’s job turning into a yearning for the job. I want him to run and turn our primary into a truly competitive race that will capture the headlines and attention of voters for months.
Such a race will help establish much needed name recognition for our future nominee and it will help to shed some light on our Republican solutions to our state’s problems.
On top of that, I hope John Crowley believes in the principles of our party and is willing to implement those principles in his approach to solving New Jersey’s problems.
If Crowley comes out trying to run a campaign that, for the sake of political expediency, makes him sound like a democrat, than I will be saying, “Adios, Sayonara, Au revoir, John.”
The same applies to Chris Christie.
If we are to win in November, we will have to run against the liberal policies being applied in Trenton by the current regime. We cannot run against democrats by trying to be them. If that is ones intention than don’t run.
I have a feeling that not only does John Crowley disagree with liberal policy, he is also not afraid to promote a right of center approach to government.
If that is the case, then Crowley may very easily get my vote.
For me, his political outsider status is a plus. He has no entanglement with the political bureaucracy that brought us to where we are today and as result he bears no blame. Furthermore; his “can do” mentality to getting things accomplished in the real world is the type of thinking that we need in the jaded world of government bureaucracy.
Of course, no matter who wins our nomination, it will behoove them to select State Senator Jennifer Beck as their running mate and our Lieutenant Governor nominee.
Please be sure to sign the online petition for that effort!