Comedian Joe Piscopo says he won’t run for N.J. governor

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Joe Piscopo, the former Saturday Night Live star, said Wednesday he would not run for governor of New Jersey, after having publicly stoked speculation for months on his radio show and in interviews that he might launch a campaign.


Piscopo, best known for impersonating Frank Sinatra during his run on SNL in the early 1980s, endorsed Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno, the Republican front-runner.

The comedian said “friends and mentors” had counseled against running as an independent.


“I am not a divider. I am not an obstructionist. I am a unifier,” Piscopo said Wednesday on his radio show, AM 970 The Answer.





Piscopo supported Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and weighed a bid for the New Jersey GOP gubernatorial nomination. He opted against it, declaring there was “no way a Republican can win in New Jersey.”

“I think an independent has a better chance to win,” he told Charles Stile of the Bergen Record in March.

Piscopo on Wednesday said he and Guadagno had held a “secret summit” at his house over the weekend to discuss issues important to him. Piscopo said Guadagno shared his ideas for the state, such as lowering property taxes and helping the “disenfranchised.”

Guadagno said she “humbly” accepted Piscopo’s endorsement.




Independent gubernatorial runs are not unprecedented in New Jersey. Christopher J. Daggett, a former commissioner of the Department of Environmental Protection, ran as an independent in 2009 against Republican Chris Christie and Democratic incumbent Gov. Jon S. Corzine.

Daggett raised enough money to qualify for public matching funds and participated in debates. He ultimately won just 5.8 percent of the vote in Christie’s first election victory. Christie’s second term ends in January.

















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