- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 2, 2005

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — Hours after attending the funeral of Rosa Parks, former President Bill Clinton invoked the civil rights heroine in urging a large voter turnout for Democratic Sen. Jon Corzine in Tuesday’s gubernatorial election.

Speaking to a crowd of several thousand screaming, stomping and cheering supporters at Essex County College last night, Mr. Clinton said it would be a mistake for voters to sit out the election.

“That woman we buried today after 92 years of service to this country, she had to try three times before they would even let her vote,” Mr. Clinton said. “You be there on November 8th.”

Mr. Clinton’s appearance came as a new Quinnipiac University poll showed Mr. Corzine with a clear lead over Republican opponent Doug Forrester less than a week before the election, 50 percent to 38 percent. The poll of 636 likely voters, which was conducted Oct. 24 to Sunday, had a margin of error of four percentage points.

Only New Jersey and Virginia are choosing governors this year.

The former president contrasted Mrs. Parks’ courage and determination with the apathy of many modern voters.

“She knew that on Election Day if you show up and vote, you’re just as good as the next person,” he said.

Mr. Clinton also stumped with Mr. Corzine in Union on Sept. 29.

The Democratic senator was hoping to get a boost from Mr. Clinton even as published reports showed him with a less-than-enthusiastic review from one person who knows him well: his ex-wife.

Two newspapers reported this week that Joanne Corzine, whose marriage ended in divorce in 2003, said her former husband was wrong to make political deals with influential but controversial New Jersey Democratic leaders.

Mrs. Corzine did not return telephone messages left by the Associated Press.

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