CLARK - This fall, New Jersey voters will pick one of two U.S. senators on Election Day.
Republican Jeff Bell says he was so sick of elected officials blowing off what he thought was the big economic challenge of our time, he decided to move back to New Jersey from Virginia, and try to fix it himself.
"It was frustration, with the failure of people to take that issue on, that led me to return to New Jersey after an absence and run for the Senate again," he says.
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Thirty years ago, Bell upset an incumbent Republican senator in a primary, only to come up short in the general election. Now, he's back for another shot.
He says his top priority is the economy, specifically ending the Fed's zero interest rate policy and returning the dollar to the gold standard.
On other issues, Bell is a standard conservative. "I think Common Core is a big mistake," he says. His sentiment was popular with many of the teachers from the Clark School District, who he addressed Tuesday.
Gov. Chris Christie is holding a fundraiser for Bell this month. He hopes to spread the word on his economic message, but he says national GOP figures aren't even returning his phone calls.
New Jersey voters haven't elected a Republican to the U.S. Senate in 40 years.
"They settle into a kind of folk myth status, and I think this cliche that Republicans can't win a Senate race is just another one that can be burst at any time, and then people will forget all about it," he says.
Sen. Cory Booker officially kicks off his re-election campaign with three events in New Jersey on Wednesday.