- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Actor and comedian Joe Piscopo is still seriously considering a run for New Jersey governor, just not as a Republican, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Chris Christie has been in the office for two terms,” THR quoted Mr. Piscopo as saying. “It’s going to be impossible to win [as a Republican] because of that.”

The “Saturday Night Live” alumnus turned conservative-leaning radio host ruled out pursuing the GOP’s nomination in March, NJ.com reported at the time, a move that seems more prescient given recent developments. Just last week, term-limited Republican Gov. Chris Christie placed dead last in a survey that compared the approval ratings of all 50 U.S. state governors.

In addition to the fundraising potential of the celebrity factor, Mr. Piscopo’s mix of conservative populism with moderate views on social issues and organized labor could help him in a general election in a reliably blue state.

THR noted that while the 65-year-old entertainer — until 2016 a long-time registered Democrat — is pro-life, he is also pro-gay marriage and, as a member of SAG-AFTRA and the Writers Guild, someone who is pro-labor union. New Jersey, as is true of every other Northeastern state, is a closed-shop jurisdiction.

Working against Mr. Piscopo, however, is the fact that since 1989 the party out of the White House has staked claim to the New Jersey governorship and Donald Trump, whom Mr. Piscopo endorsed for president, remains highly unpopular in the Garden State — just 28 percent of New Jersey residents approve of his job performance according to a Fairleigh Dickinson University poll in late March.

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