Douglas Forrester, a long-time West Windsor resident and former township mayor, has announced his intention to run for governor in 2005.##M:[more]##

A Republican who lost a bid for a seat in the United States Senate two years ago, Forrester has remained active in state politics, making appearances, taking out advertisements on radio stations, and hosting an election-night party at the Hyatt.

Following the announcement by Governor McGreevey of his resignation in August, Forrester called for him to step down immediately so the state could elect a new governor to finish out his term.

Instead, McGreevey waited until this month and was replaced by state Senate President Richard Codey, who is a Democrat, like McGreevey.

In response, Forrester called for a change in the state constitution to allow for the election of a lieutenant governor. “It’s time to take power away from the party bosses and give it back to the people,” said Forrester.

In September, Forrester launched a campaign against CBS News anchor Dan Rather, after he hosted a story on “60 Minutes” containing documents, later exposed to be fake, regarding President George Bush’s service in the Texas Air National Guard.

“CBS can reassure the American public that it cares about high journalistic standards by retiring Dan Rather,” said Forrester. “Dan Rather is a classic example of liberal media bias. Now he’s involved in an attempt to influence the presidential election. It’s wrong and he should be held accountable.”

Forrester worked as director of research in the New Jersey General Assembly from 1977 to 1981, and was appointed by Governor Thomas Kean as assistant state treasurer in 1982. From 1984 to 1990, he was the director of the New Jersey Division of Pensions. He left the state in 1990 to found BeneCard Services, a benefit management firm.

Forrester became involved in West Windsor politics in the late 1970s and early 1980s. In 1979, he ran for an unexpired term on township committee and was elected. He was re-elected to a full three-year term the following year and served as mayor in 1981 and 1982.

In running for Governor, Forrester enters an already-crowded field of GOP contenders that includes Bret Schundler, who lost the 2001 governor’s race against McGreevey; former Bergen County Freeholder Todd Caliguire; Assemblyman Paul DiGaetano; Bogota Mayor Steven Lonegan; Morris County Freeholder John Murphy; and Bergen County businessman Robert Schroeder.

A multi-millionaire, Forrester has said he will not accept public funding, at least through the primary next June.

In 2002, Forrester spent $8 million of his own money in his U.S. Senate campaign against incumbent Robert Torricelli.

Forrester was leading the race until Torricelli dropped out of the campaign two months before the election amid an ethics scandal.

The election was ultimately won by Frank Lautenberg, who had retired from the Senate after 18 years in office, but was chosen by the Democrats to replace Torricelli.