22 Mar 2017 03:07 PM EST
-by Laura Tucker, Staff Writer; Image: Joe Piscopo (Image Source: Public Domain)
With a reality TV star as the sitting president, it seems to be making entertainers realize that a run for office is possible.
After previous considerations of a future in politics, Joe Piscopo is seriously considering running for governor of New Jersey.
However, if the former Saturday Night Live cast member follows through, it won't be for the party you think he's associated with.
After being a Democrat for many years, he backed Donald Trump, and he's announcing now that if he runs to replace Gov. Chris Christie, it will be as an independent.
With a registration deadline looming for him to register for the Republican primary, Piscopo is instead thinking of trying his luck as a third-party candidate.
"I am more serious about this than ever before. We're coming up with initiatives. It's all working out," he said. "I'm very, very excited to have an opportunity to help the people of New Jersey. I'm not being coy. I'm very careful and respectful."
One of the reasons he's deciding to go the independent route is because of his current job. If he would file the paperwork for his candidacy by the April 3 deadline, he would have to quit his gig on the radio. The rules state that candidates get equal time on public airwaves. Additionally, he needs the time to set up campaign committees.
Instead, he'll be working towards a June 6 deadline to file as an independent. This might end up hurting the GOP's chances of replacing Christie with another Republican. Right now the top candidate is Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, and as it stands there are 800,000 more Democratic voters than Republican. Piscopo was behind Guadagno in the most recent GOP polls, but by a narrow margin.
However, independents don't seem to fair well in New Jersey. They haven't elected anyone other than a top party candidate since the 19th century. This led Christie to announce that given the history, Piscopo as an independent candidate would "be as close to the governorship as he is today."
Piscopo promises to make property tax his campaign platform, and his message is, "Let's make New Jersey livable again," stealing a line from the President. "It's about the people. It all comes down to the overtaxation."
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