Republican U.S. Senate candidate Murray Sabrin jokes that the two questions he gets most frequently are: When are you going to retire? And are you going to run for office again?
The retirement question, he says, comes from younger faculty members at Ramapo College who want to see the 61-year-old professor of finance step aside so they can move up.
The second question comes from those interested in his Libertarian ideas about government who remember his two previous campaigns. He ran for governor as a Libertarian in 1997 and for the U.S. Senate in 2000 as a Republican.
So the answers are: Sabrin will retire when he's ready, and he's running for the Senate again this year.
He said the answer to the candidacy question had been "99-plus percent no" until he started paying attention to GOP presidential candidate Ron Paul, a U.S. representative from Texas who turned heads when he raised a bundle for his campaign on the Internet.
"I've been inspired by his candidacy," said Sabrin, who credited Paul with starting a modern national movement against big government.
Sabrin said New Jersey voters were ripe for a Libertarian-spirited Republican because "they see threats to our civil liberties. They are burdened by high taxes and heavy duty regulations."
As a senator, he said, "I will be the firewall between expanding executive power and liberties which are supposed to be protected by the Constitution."
Before starting on the road to Capitol Hill in earnest, he stumped for Paul in last week's primary.
Now his eyes are turned toward the June 3 Senate primary. His opponents so far are Anne Evans Estabrook, a wealthy developer from Monmouth County, and State Sen. Joe Pennacchio, a dentist from Morris County.
The winner will likely face Democratic incumbent Frank Lautenberg.
Sabrin, who lives in Fort Lee, wouldn't say how much money he planned to spend or raise, but said he would reach voters through the Internet.
Sabrin opposes the war in Iraq, abortion and the Patriot Act. To drive down taxes, he said, he would reduce the size of the federal government by giving states more power and responsibility. For example, he would deport murderers, rapists and child molesters but ultimately allow states to deal with criminals as they saw fit within the guidelines of human decency, he said.
Sabrin was born in West Germany and immigrated to New York with his parents, the only members of their families to survive the Holocaust.
After his undergraduate work, Sabrin taught in a public school in the South Bronx but quickly decided to go back to school. He got a master's degree at Lehman College and then a doctorate at Rutgers University.
Before becoming a college teacher, he worked as an economist and investment analyst.
He ran for governor in 1997 as a Libertarian and for the U.S. Senate in 2000 as a Republican.
Job and education:
A finance professor at Ramapo College of New Jersey, he received a bachelor of arts degree from Hunter College in New York; a master's in education from Lehman College, also in New York; and a doctorate in economic geography from Rutgers University.
He has a wife, Florence.