Even during a boat trip into Newark Bay, someone stops him. This time, it is one of the crew of the Bayonne-based U.S. Coast Guard cutter.
For a Republican who took on U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez two years ago for the U.S. Senate, it must be a bit unnerving to be known more for being his father's son than as an accomplished state senator.
Although Kean has clearly followed in his father's footsteps, he has reasons of his own for running as a Republican in a state where Democrats have ruled the roost for most of the last century.
One reason has to do with the concept of providing people with an opportunity to succeed.
He believes each person should have an equal opportunity, as opposed to most Democrats who look for people to get an equal result.
While Kean clearly hasn't forgotten his tough battle against Menendez, he has moved on, following legislative threads that include a new economic program for the state and an educational program he has hooked up with Democratic State Sen. Ray Lesniak to promote.
Although his tour of the harbor on this occasion is more of a vacation, his conversations with the some of the more significant harbor union leaders clearly are part of a larger agenda, one that perhaps might become more visible next year when the state must select its governor.
Speaking of the sons of famous New Jersey political people, Robert Menendez Jr. was spotted in Secaucus recently at the Verizon offices apparently paying his phone bill. Young Menendez is still a resident of Union City, but it is uncertain whether or not he ever intends to follow in his famous father's footsteps.
Veteran issue could help McCain in Hudson County
Republican presidential candidate John McCain recently opened his headquarters in New Jersey.
He hopes to take the state, although Democratic candidate Barack Obama has sent in a small army of workers to make sure that won't happen.
Many expect McCain to win Bayonne.
He is the kind of Republican that blue-collar Democrats can feel comfortable voting for, the way they came out for President Ronald Reagan in the 1980s.
In questioning McCain's war record, former presidential candidate Wesley Clark has angered a number of local veterans, possibly motivating a town rich in veterans to come to the polls in November. While Hudson County will still go to Obama, a good turnout for McCain in places like Kearny, Bayonne, and Secaucus could hurt Obama's chances elsewhere in the state. For Democrats, Hudson, Camden, and Essex counties serve as a vote bank to make up for the Republican-rich counties in south and western New Jersey.
Will Schundler run for mayor?
Reports that former Jersey City Mayor Bret Schundler may be running for mayor again have a lot of people talking.
Schundler, who served as mayor from 1992 until his unsuccessful run for governor in 2001, acted as a counterweight to the Democratic hegemony in Hudson County. As a Republican, Schundler took Jersey City out of the usual patronage mix.
Some people look back to his term of office with great fondness, and wonder if the city could return to a time when politics didn't play such an overwhelming role in the day-to-day operations of city and county government.
State Assemblyman L. Harvey Smith confirmed this week that he is exploring his options about running for Jersey City mayor as well.
Meanwhile, Jersey City Councilman Peter Brennan geared up for his re-election effort next year with a fundraiser at Liberty House.
The $200 per ticket event drew well over 100 people, and brought out a curious mix of political people.
Jersey City Council President Bill Gaughan acted as master of ceremonies. On hand were the famous Matsikoudis brothers, Bill and Phil.
Mayor Jerramiah Healy - on whose ticket Brennan is expected to run - arrived about two hours late, after attending a wedding earlier.
Others who came include Councilwoman Viola Richardson, who is routinely trading comic barbs with Brennan during council meetings. Freeholder Eliu Rivera, fresh from his Democratic primary victory, also showed up. So did developer Steve Hyman, who is apparently still lobbying for his embankment development project. Announced as in attendance was Hyman's archrival, Councilman Steve Fulop. Also announced was Bayonne Police Director Mark Smith, who may have come lobbying support for his mayoral effort in the Bayonne special election in November. Freeholder challenge in Bayonne Just when it seemed the Democrats got through with infighting as to who will run for freeholder, Denis Wilbeck pops up and decides to run against Democratic incumbent freeholder Doreen DiDomenico in Bayonne this November. He will run as an independent. Wilbeck, who is supporting retired Judge Patrick Conaghan for mayor in November, ran for freeholder three years ago. In a general election with presidential candidates at the top of the ticket, DiDomenico may have something to worry about. Roberts gets asked to leave The fact that some members of the Hoboken City Council asked Mayor Dave Roberts to step down from office at Monday night's special budget meeting is no surprise.
The real question is: what took them so long? Political forces have been working behind the scenes against Roberts for quite some time. It took a state take-over of the municipal budget to give them ammunition to go public.
Also a bit shocking are some of those who voted for the measure, and those who did not. Councilman Ruben Ramos Jr. voted for Roberts to leave, while council members Peter Cammarano and Beth Mason did not.
Ramos is not seeking to replace Roberts, while Cammarano and Mason have both been named as possible mayoral contenders next May.