The 2014 GOP U.S. Senate primary field, left to right: Rich Pezzullo, Brian Goldberg, Jeff Bell and Murray Sabrin
Tuesday’s news from Freehold and Virginia’s 7th CD show that people who choose to get involved can make big changes.
Having experienced the primary system in the US Senate race, I discovered that in a majority of the counties, Mr. Goldberg “earned” the line by reaching out to county committee far in advance of the county conventions.
Republicans who were active and attended their meetings had a chance to meet him and provided support to him, as opposed to the “relative strangers” who showed up at convention seeking support after a 3 minute presentation.
Davis (left) with LG Kim Guadagno (center) and A.C. Mayor Don Guardian (right) at a NJGOP campaign training seminar on May 31st. (via Facebook)
All NJ GOP eyes are on Monmouth County tonight, Save Jerseyans, but about an hour further south on the G.S. Parkway, Atlantic County’s incumbent Republican Chairman Keith Davis cruised to victory tonight, elected unanimously to another term as head of the county GOP organization by 150+ present committee members.
There are runoff municipal elections today in Bayonne, Newark and Trenton on Tuesday, Save Jerseyans, but no matter who ultimately prevails, the end result will be the same:
The election of a liberal Democrat. Whoopie!
So whatever. Republican leaders in Monmouth County are voting today; it’s a more interesting contest to me in terms of actual statewide implications given the importance of Monmouth as a lean-right swing county, and this race happens to be a county committee brawl for the chairmanship between the incumbent – former Governor John Bennett – and his challenger Sheriff Shaun Golden.
There’s also plenty of coin on the line as proxies affiliated with large law firms advocate for their preferred champion. High stakes inevitably translates to extremely messy and also somewhat unpredictable due to the fog of war…
Add state Senator Jennifer Beck to the list of Rich Pezzullo’s Monmouth supporters, Save Jerseyans.
The campaign tells me that the Monmouth legislator will “second” his nomination at Saturday morning’s county convention. Pezzullo’s wife is slated to voice the initial nomination from the floor as Monmouth County committee members decide who to endorse for the right to face Cory Booker in November. Pezzullo has already won the backing of Asm. Declan O’Scanlon.
I can’t speak to the convention bylaws (I’m no expert), but Pezzullo looks strong 12 hours out. Rich is also doing quite well right now in our online #NJSen poll, too. It isn’t scientific but it’s fun! Click here to cast your ballot.
Hari Eppanapally is out of the CD6 GOP primary, Save Jerseyans, on the eve of Republican county committee conventions in Middlesex and Monmouth counties according to a source close to the district’s Republican leadership. I’m told Mr. Eppanapally already informed Chairmen Bennett and Thompson of his intention to withdraw.
That leaves Anthony Wilkinson of Old Bridge, a Yale-educated attorney based in Freehold, as the presumptive GOP nominee to face Frank Pallone this November. He’s now the only named CD6 candidate participating in Saturday’s committee polls, and the word among Save Jersey informants throughout the contested region is that Wilkinson very impressive albeit inexperienced candidate.
The next several days could prove decisive in the GOP #NJSen primary race.
Businessman Brian Goldberg appears to be on a roll with decisive wins in the key county Republican county of Ocean and battleground Cumberland, a battleground where any statewide GOP candidate needs to close the gap if they’re going to have a prayer in the general.
With that being said, Save Jerseyans, his in-hand county line total as of Friday afternoon is 4 out of 21. Mercer will decide tonight, followed by Monmouth (where Rich Pezzullo snatched a key endorsement) and Middlesex (where Sabrin almost won the screening) on Saturday, and then Atlantic on Monday, Somerset (Tuesday), and Hunterdon (next Thursday). A lot can still happen.
With whom do you stand? As of today? Who is YOUR preference to take on Cory Booker in November? Vote in our exclusive online poll below the fold, and share your rationale in the comments section…
Brian Goldberg is one step closer to the Republican U.S. Senate nomination tonight, Save Jerseyans. He captured the Cumberland County’s GOP line on Thursday evening the day after he prevailed in deep red deep-red Ocean County
Goldberg also claimed the lines in Passaic and Essex earlier this month, taking an early but decisive lead in the county endorsement count entering into a busy final sprint of conventions as March closes out.
The GOP county convention circuit continues with Mercer (Friday), Monmouth and Middlesex (Saturday), Atlantic (Monday), Somerset (Tuesday), and Hunterdon (next Thursday).
Here’s the U.S. Senate county breakdown thus far as of this brisk yet clear March morning, Save Jerseyans:
We’ve learned that Passaic County went with businessman Brian Goldberg on Saturday morning. Goldberg previously won the line in Essex County, too, and at this stage, he’s the only candidate with two counties in his column. That’s something.
The BCRO’s Policy Committee met tonight and made its recommendations with one week to go before the Bergen Republican convention, Save Jerseyans. I’m told approximately 50-ish of the 100 members showed up. Here’s how the participants voted on the freeholder primary race:
Burlington originally scheduled its convention for the 29th after neighboring Ocean County holds it vote next week. Both counties’ respective screening committees endorses MacArthur, but aggressive efforts by Lonegan and Toms River Councilman Mo Hill convinced Burlco leaders to reschedule their convention to give MacArthur a stronger, quicker start, and at the same time put to bed any rumors among CD3 committee members that Burlington’s position could change based on what happens at the Ocean convention.
On a totally unrelated note, Governor Christie will be at the YMCA of Burlington County in Mt. Laurel on Thursday for one of his signature town hall meetings. Trenton hasn’t formally injected itself into CD3.
That’s what Save Jersey sources in Ocean County are saying about the chances of councilman, dentist, and former rear admiral Mo Hill mounting a successful convention floor challenge to the screening committee-backed candidate to succeed Jon Runyan, Tom MacArthur.
Their logic is compelling regardless of whether it ultimately holds true…