The statehouse press corps is buzzing news on twitter about a possible change in the GOP leadership in the New Jersey State Senate.
Current Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean JR has been fighting to keep his leadership post since the election results…no pick ups in the Senate…on Tuesday. Kean released a letter signed by 11 of the 16 Republican Senators pledging their support for his reelection as leader to the press yesterday. Governor Christie declined to comment about the possible change in the Republican leadership in the Senate, but said that the he is “committed to Steve Sweeney” being President of the Senate.
Within the last half hour, The Star Ledger’s Matt Friedman and PolitickerNJ’s Matt Arco both tweeted that Kean entered Christie’s office and left a few minutes later, looking unhappy. Senator Joe Kyrillos entered Christie’s office 5 minutes after Kean left.
Neither Kean or Kyrillos would speak to reporters.
The Republican Senate Caucus is meeting to elect a their leader for the next legislative session this afternoon.
Kean’s relationship with Sweeney is not good, as Sweeney resented Kean targeting the Senate President seat. Sweeney responded by keeping all Republican sponsored legislation off the calendar. Since Tuesday’s election, Sweeney has been publicly taunting and teasing Kean for not gaining any ground for Republicans when the Governor was reelected by over 20%.
Christie needs Sweeney’s cooperation in order to get anything accomplished in a second term, whether Christie runs for president or not. If Kean’s unworkable relationship with Sweeney is an obstacle, tapping his trusted friend, the ever congenial Kyrillos, as Minority Leader makes perfect sense.