Mercer, Hunterdon GOP orgs formally back Tibbetts for LD15

Hunterdon County Chairman Pat Torpey, Assembly candidate Justin Tibbetts, and Mercer County Chairwoman Lisa Richford.

TRENTON, N.J. — An early jump of the 2019 cycle? Maybe, if the NJGOP gets lucky.

Republicans needed a candidate to seek newly-minted Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora’s vacated Assembly seat which was subsequently filed by Mercer County Freeholder Anthony Verrelli.

It’s a tough district, but a popular incumbent’s departure always injects uncertainty into any contest.

On Tuesday, the Mercer County GOP and the Hunterdon GOP gathered for a joint convention and chose Justin Tibbetts for the race.

“I’m very humbled and honored to receive the official nomination as LD15 Assembly Candidate,” Tibbetts told supporters on Facebook. “I look forward to working with you all in the upcoming months.”

Tibbetts serves on Trenton’s ethics board; he previously served as Vice President of AFSCME Local 2473 for the Mercer County Community College Building Trades and College Safety Officers Union before taking over the Hunterdon County Facilities Division in 2014.

The district hasn’t had a Republican in the legislature since New Jersey Lottery television host Dick LaRossa was defeated by Shirley Turner in 1995.

LD15 includes the Hunterdon towns of East Amwell Township, Lambertville City and West Amwell Township and the Mercer municipalities of Ewing Township, Hopewell Borough, Hopewell Township, Lawrence Township, Pennington Borough, Trenton City and West Windsor Township.