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McGreevey scandal a big issue with New Jersey delegation

McGreevey scandal a big issue with New Jersey delegation

The New Jersey delegation to the Republican National Convention unanimously passed a resolution Monday saying Gov. James McGreevey, who on August 12 announced he is gay and said he would resign as governor in November, should resign immediately so a special election can be held. Republican leaders also called on Democratic U.S. senator Jon Corzine to use his influence to persuade the governor to step down now. "This governor has an obligation, an obligation to the citizens of this state to put the citizens ahead of partisan politics. He needs to step down now," said Republican former New Jersey governor Christie Whitman at the delegation's meeting in New York City. "And Jon Corzine, if you want to be governor of the state of New Jersey, take it from me, you have to have leadership," Whitman said. "And leadership means standing up and saying today, 'Governor McGreevey, you need to step aside."' Corzine has not said definitively whether he will run for governor in 2005, when McGreevey's term is up, but has said that if a special election were to be held this year, he is prepared to run. However, Corzine has said that McGreevey is firm in his decision to remain in office until November 15, which means the gubernatorial election would be held next year. If McGreevey leaves office before September 3, a special election will be held on November 2. On Monday, McGreevey was meeting with state senate president Richard J. Codey, a Democrat, who will succeed him as acting governor. The meeting at the governor's mansion in Princeton was expected to take most of the day, said McGreevey spokesman Micah Rasmussen. Corzine was not immediately available for comment. Corzine, the state's senior senator and its most prominent Democrat, is the party's unofficial choice for governor. It's not certain which Republicans would run, but Whitman is out of the picture. By state law, a former governor cannot run for that office again until four years after his or her term has expired. In Whitman's case, that was 2002, so she cannot run until 2006. Another name bandied about by Republicans has been former governor Thomas Kean, who was chairman of the September 11 Commission. But Kean said Sunday at the delegation's welcome reception that he had "been there, done that" when it comes to the governor's office.

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