What if Christie picks…..

Could John Bennett be heading back to Trenton?


…Senator Joe Kyillos?

By virtue of his long term friendship with Governor Christie and his campaign for U.S. Senate last year, State Senator Joe Kyrillos is on every Christie mind reader’s short list of possible U.S. Senators to replace the late Frank Lautenberg.

Assuming Kyrillos defeats Leigh-Ann Bellew in the primary today, his move to the U.S. Senate would create a vacancy for the nomination for State Senate in LD 13.  If either Assemblywoman Amy Handlin or Assemblyman Declan O’Scanlon move up to the Senate slot, as would be expected, there will be an Assembly nomination vacancy.

Neither Handlin nor O’Scanlon will say if they want the State Senate seat, which probably means they both want it. Even so, I would expect that they would work that out amongst themselves rather than have a convention fight.

A nominating convention for the resulting Assembly vacancy would bring out a wealth of Republican talent.

From Middletown, both Gerry Scharfenberger and Tony Fiore would be formidable. They won’t compete with each other. Whichever of the two seeks the nomination would likely win.

Also from Middletown, Freeholder John Curley. The Statehouse press corps would love Curley. The Assembly Democrats would hate him and the Assembly Republican Minority Leadership would dread him.  He’d be right at home shaking things up in Trenton.  Curley in the legislature is fun to think about, but probably won’t happen.

Deputy Freeholder Director Serena DiMaso is said to want a seat in the legislature, someday.  If neither Scharfenberger or Fiore compete for the nod, Middletown and Holmdel aligning would guarantee DiMaso the nomination and create a freeholder nomination vacancy.  Nobody wants this outcome more than former Howell Mayor Bob Walsh, except, maybe, Serena.

Union Beach Councilman Charlie Cocuzza will float his name, as he often does, but probably not run.

Councilman Joe Irace is a tireless advocate for his community and is frequently mentioned for higher office.  He says he has no political ambitions beyond Oceanport, which is one of the things that makes him such an attractive candidate.

Anna Little won’t be a candidate for State Legislature.  She looks to be preparing to run for Congress again next year.


…Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno?

Guadagno is the only woman on most short lists.  In a short race, i.e., if the “temporary Senator” has to defend the seat this November rather than next, Kim probably outperforms the white men being considered by Christie against the presumed Democratic nominee, Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

If Christie sends Guadagno to Washington, who becomes Lt. Governor?  With a Christie presidential run considered a real possibility, Lt. Governor becomes a coveted position.  If Kyrillos becomes Lt. Governor, with an eye on Drumthwaket, see above for the local consequences.


…Senator Jennifer Beck?

While not (yet) mentioned on any short lists in other publications, Beck would be an exciting choice.  She would appeal to New Jersey’s moderate electorate.  A fierce competitor, Beck would run harder against Booker than anyone else.  And, she would be harder for Booker to run against than anyone else.

What happens if Beck moves to Washington? Who becomes the State Senate nominee?  Mary Pat Angelini?  Caroline Casagrande?  If so,who would becomes the Assembly nominee?  Colts Neck Mayor Michael Fitzgerald?  Freehold Township Mayor Barbara McMorrow? Deputy Mayor Anthony Ammiano? State Committeewoman Christine Hanlon of Ocean Township?

Any of the above would be good choices.  But if Jennifer Beck goes to Washington, look for Monmouth GOP Chairman John Bennett to make a triumphant return to the Senate in Trenton after a 10 year absence.

Posted: June 4th, 2013 | Author: | Filed under: 2013 Election, 2013 Gubernatorial Politics, 2014 U.S. Senate race | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »

4 Comments on “What if Christie picks…..”

  1. Marlboro Man said at 12:57 pm on June 4th, 2013:

    A wealth of talent in the 13th district must considet the 2nd largest town in the district, Marlboro. And from Marlboro the logical choice is Captain Shital Rajan. Captain Rajan is a uniter not a divider and would bring his unique perspective to Trenton where he would be in the legislature. If you are a legislator then damn it legislate, and that is what Captain Rajan will do for us!

  2. What If Christie Picks….. | The Save Jersey Blog said at 1:20 pm on June 4th, 2013:

    […] By Art Gallagher | MoreMonmouthMusings.com […]

  3. » MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » What if Christie picks….. said at 1:39 pm on June 4th, 2013:

    […] MoreMonmouthMusings » Blog Archive » What if Christie picks….. Go to this article […]

  4. James Hogan said at 1:46 pm on June 4th, 2013:

    The above possibilities are exactly why I’ve asked Freeholder candidates, local municipal candidates and all others who claim to be “Republicans” where they stand on Right to Life, Marriage and the Second Amendment.

    Those lower level seats are, more often than not, a stepping stone to higher offices and if you don’t want an assembly representative or senator who supports abortions or gay marriages or one who opposes the Second Amendment, then you, sometimes unfortunately, need to weed out early those who could be great administrators before they can gain name recognition and a fundraising base in those lower level offices and then just slip into an office where they can vote on such issues, and possibly not vote as “Republican” as you may like them to vote.

    Happy Primary Day!

    James P. Hogan
    Certified Professional Constitutional Door Knocker