Stender files for repeat run against Ferguson

Democratic state Assemblywoman Linda Stender officially filed Wednesday to run against Rep. Mike Ferguson (R-N.J.) again in 2008, but a spokesman said the filing was for legal reasons and stressed that she has not made a final decision on running again.

Chief of Staff Ed Oatman said Stender had to file because money is coming into the campaign but that she is not ready to jump into the race. However, Stender has indicated she is strongly considering another run at Ferguson.

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She lost to Ferguson by less than two points and held him below 50 percent in 2006 — his worst showing in four successful congressional elections.

Democrats have zeroed in on the seat after not giving it as much emphasis as many others last year.

Ferguson has been preparing for another bruising race, having raised $418,000 in the first quarter of this cycle. Stender has not been raising money but has instead been preparing for a state Assembly reelection bid this year.

Other top Democratic candidates have yet to emerge to challenge Stender in the primary.

Stender and Ferguson did not return calls seeking comment.