As expected, Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) will seek the open State Senate seat in the 21st district.
“I spoke to the three county chairs. They are all supportive,” Bramnick said.
The seat opened up today with the announcement that Senate Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) will not seek re-election to the post he’s held since 2003.
Bramnick said he was busy calling municipal chairs to ask them for their support, something the Republican leader said should not be taken for granted.
“I’ve reached 9 of 16,” Bramnick said. “It’s all good.”
There are no surprises here. Most Republicans expected Kean would leave the legislature to concentrate on a 2022 rematch against Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in New Jersey’s 7th congressional district.
Kean came within one percentage point of ousting Malinowski last November.
Had Kean won, Bramnick would likely be in the Senate right now.
Some Republicans say that the possibility of Kean’s retirement played into Bramnick’s decision not to run for governor this year.
Bramnick has won nine times in a district that has become politically competitive over the last few years.
Roselle Park Mayor Joseph Signorello has already announced his Senate candidates, and New Jersey Firefighters Mutual Benevolent Association President Eddie Donnelly is also mulling a bid for the seat.
Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit) is planning to seek re-election to the Assembly, giving Republicans one open seat to fill this fall.