The dean of the Monmouth County legislative delegation is running for United States Senate.
MMM has confirmed that State Senator Joe Kyrillos has completed his exploratory activity and will announce his candidacy to replace Robert Menendez in the United States Senate today.
Kyrillos has represented northern Monmouth County in the state legislature for over two decades. The close friend and advisor of Governor Chris Christie is also a former NJ GOP State Chairman. He chaired Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign in New Jersey in 2008 and was Christie’s campaign chairman in 2009.
Kyrillos established an U.S. Senate Exploratory Comittee last June to evaluate the viability of a potential campaign to unseat Menendez in a presidential election year. His announcement today is an indication not only that he and his senior supporters see a path to victory, but that the highest levels of the NJ GOP believe that New Jersey’s 14 electoral votes are in play during the presidential election.
New Jersey has not elected a Republican U.S. Senator in 40 years and has not voted for a Republican presidential candidate since George H.W. Bush in 1988.
Republican pollster Adam Geller, who has consulted with the Kyrillos Exploratory Committee says Menedez is vulnerable. Despite out polling Kyrillos, former Highlands Mayor Anna Little and a generic Republican, only 43% of New Jersey voters support the incumbent Senator. “That is Jon Corzine territory,” Geller said in a memo to the Kyrillos committee last week.