Lautenberg-Andrews contest gets bitter

June 2, 2008 4:24:11 PM PDT
The contest for the democratic nomination in the U.S. Senate race heads primary agenda tomorrow in New Jersey, and the Lautenberg-Andrew battle has become particularly bitter. Sen. Frank Lautenberg spent his last day campaigning in his hometown of Paterson where he picked up the endorsement of local Black and Latino ministers.

At age 84, the 4-term senator has been on the defensive about his age and if he's fit to complete another 6 years in office. "It's not a question of age it's a question of effectiveness. What do you get done? Rob Andrews has not gotten anything done that's noteworthy in 18 years," said Lautenberg.

Many Democrats are angry with Congressman Andrews for challenging Lautenberg.

Rep. Bill Pascrell said, "How dare anyone decide that he will be the measure of demographics inthis state and determine when someone is too old."

Andrews says, "If those in the other camp think by using intimidation they can back us off they're picking on the wrong people."

At one of numerous campaign stops in his South Jersey base today, the Haddon Heights congressman said he's not conceding ANY part of the state and asked his supporters to get out and vote.

"I believe we're gonna surprise all the pundits tomorrow night with how well we'll do in central and north jersey. If South Jersey votes we win," said Andrews.

Andrews told supporters in Gloucester City he represents the change New Jersey needs. "I want them to think about who has the energy, who's shown the commitment in this campaign to get the job done? I now think I've met 50,000 people personally in this campaign."

Lautenberg answered by saying, "Of the 50,000 he shook 44,000 of those were my voters."

Many see this primary as showdown between north and south, old and young. Democrats will decide who gets the nomination tomorrow.