By Matt Rooney | The Save Jersey Blog
A crowded primary to replace Alison McHose is slowly beginning to broil up in exurban LD24, Save Jerseyans.
On Friday, the New Jersey Right to Life State PAC endorsed incumbent Assemblyman Parker Space and Sussex County Freeholder Gail Phoebus., an announcement which Space described as “an honor.”
“Working to cultivate a culture of life in Trenton has not been easy with radical liberal Democrats in charge of the agenda there,” Asm. Space explained in a statement, “but our allies in this fight know where I stand and I appreciate their support.”
A Republican primary is solidly-red LD24 began back in January when Asw. McHose confirmed her intention to resign from the legislature to serve as borough administrator in Franklin, a nearly $100k gig that would permit her to spend a lot more time with her family instead of trekking back-and-forth from Trenton. That was the real reason for her decision since New Jersey law only forbids dual office holding, not dual public job holding. Linda Stender could tell you all about it….
The GOP field of challengers has been winnowed down to two candidates: former Green Mayor Marie Bilik and 23-year old Branchville resident Nathan Orr.
McHose, however, now appears likely to finish her term which expires in January 2016.
Phoebus and her allies are forging ahead and taking no chances in a low-turnout cycle. “As the mother of two daughters and grandmother of two granddaughters — with another grandchild on the way — I so value the miracle of life for definite personal reasons,” said Phoebus, accepting the NJRTL endorsement.
Freeholder Phoebus’s allies including most of the regional GOP establishment, including the woman she hoped to succeed in the Assembly.
“I was humbled to be personally asked by Assemblywoman Alison Littell McHose, not only one of the leading pro-life legislators in Trenton but one of the stalwarts nationwide in protecting human life, to run for her Assembly seat and carry on her legacy of fighting for pro-life policies in Trenton,” Phoebus added. “I know she would want the next Republican woman to serve in the Assembly to share the same beliefs as she does when it comes to promoting a culture of life, and I do.”
Marie Tasy, the long-time Executive Director of New Jersey Right to Life, had previously endorsed Phoebus during her freeholder tenure.
“Parker’s record on life issues speaks for itself,” Tasy said. “Gail will be a strong female pro-life voice like Assemblywoman McHose and continue the work on legislative initiatives which Alison has championed. I am proud that they have earned this endorsement and Parker and Gail will continue in the strong pro-life tradition in Northwest New Jersey of Congressman Scott Garrett and Senator Steve Oroho.”
Barring a resignation announcement from Asw. McHose, we’ll get a clearer picture of the primary fight picture on March 30th, the deadline for petitions. Orr recently announced on Facebook that he was “more than half way to 100.” Bilik, meanwhile, was interviewed by NJ.com last month and seemed to stake out a moderate profile (oxymoronic?) that included full-throated support for Common Core.