Rizzo enters NJ-07 race; Kean mocks him for leaving NJ-11 “with his tail between his legs”

Rizzo enters NJ-07 race; Kean mocks him for leaving NJ-11 “with his tail between his legs”

In the latest of a host of post-redistricting pivots, Phil Rizzo announced Wednesday that he’s running in NJ-07 this spring instead of NJ-11 as originally planned.

“While I was looking forward to taking on Mikie Sherrill in New Jersey’s 11th, I’m going to bring that same fight to bear against Tom Malinowski in the 7th,” Rizzo declared in a morning tweet. “NJ-7 needs a true Republican—no more Democrats or establishment RINOs who pretend to be of the people.”

NJ-11 got bluer in the recent redistricting process while NJ-07 got a tad less blue. Assemblyman Erik Peterson and now Rizzo, a pastor and developer who finished a decent second in last year’s NJGOP gubernatorial primary, are attempting to deny the party nomination to the race’s frontrunner Tom Kean Jr.

The Kean camp didn’t pull any punches reacting to Rizzo’s entry.

“Tom Kean has been in the trenches, on the front lines fighting for affordability in this state,” said Harrison Neel, GC for the Kean campaign. “Phil Rizzo waxes poetic about leading a new grassroots conservative movement while he sits beside one of his three fireplaces that he doesn’t pay taxes on, but the truth is he is just a snake oil salesman. After a lot of tough talk, he ran away from the fight in NJ-11 with his tail between his legs. He’s no conservative fighter, he’s just a politician trying to swindle his way to relevancy.”