Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) has won his third organization line with an endorsement last night from the Essex County Republicans.
Kean easily won conventions in Union and Somerset counties and is the favorite to win tonight in Hunterdon, where he has already received the backing of the GOP screening committee.
Just one Essex municipality, Millburn, is in New Jersey’s 7th district.
Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes), who unseated five-term Rep. Leonard Lance (R-Clinton Township) in 2018 by a 52%-47% margin, carried Millburn with 69% of the vote.
Kean represented Millburn in the legislature from 2001 until 2012, when the township was redistricted in to the 27th district.
He won more than 99% of the vote in Union, his home county.
Warren and Morris, the other two counties in the 7th district, do not have organization lines.
The path for Kean to avoid a primary challenge was cleared last month when Rosemary Becchi switched to the 11th district race against Rep. Mikie Sherrill.
Kean faces two minor candidates, Rob Trugman and Tom Phillips, in the June Republican primary.