Sen. Lesniak on gov run: ‘I’m the best one to put the state on the right track’

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State Sen. Ray Lesniak (D-20) says he is planning a gubernatorial run in 2017 since he’s “the best one to put the state on the right track.”

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Lesniak, who spoke to Hudson County View after being honored at Union City’s Paw Fest on Saturday, had a good laugh when asked what made him decide that the time to run for governor is now.

“Well, first of all, what I have said is I am planning on running for governor and not running for re-election to the Senate,” he said.

“This state does need strong leadership, I believe I have been a strong leader and I’m the best one to put the state on the right track, if I finally, ultimately decide to run. But, I’m planning it and I’m seriously considering it: let’s put it that way, that’s for sure.”

Lesniak, who has served in the Senate since 1983, told us in June that “if enough people think I’m the right person to lead this state … I’ll run for governor.”

Should the Senator put his name on the ballot, he’ll likely enter a four-way Democratic dance with Senate Pres. Stephen Sweeney (D-2), former U.S. Ambassador to Germany Phil Murphy and Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop.

In May, Murphy said he was “very seriously” thinking about running for governor, while Fulop recently ousted Jersey City Freeholder Gerard Balmir from the Hudson County Democratic Organization after his wife took a job with Sweeney’s office.

Additionally, it appears to be no secret that Fulop will be entering the race as he launched a new campaign website last month and a Facebook ad from Saturday that has since been removed from his personal page saw the mayor take a shot at Republican Gov. Chris Christie – who is now running for president.

Fulop gov