Home>Campaigns>Kean wins Morris GOP line by 2-1 margin in runoff for NJ-7

New Jersey State Senate Minority Leader Thomas H. Kean, Jr.

Kean wins Morris GOP line by 2-1 margin in runoff for NJ-7

Republican front-runner prevails in runoff against Isemann

By David Wildstein, March 11 2022 8:22 pm

Tom Kean, Jr. has won the Republican organization line in Morris County, prevailing in a runoff election by a vote of 88 to 42 over John Henry Isemann in his bid for the GOP nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 7th district.

The winner of the seven-candidate Republican primary will face two-term Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in a district that was redrawn for the 2022 midterm elections to be more Republican.  Kean came within one percentage point of unseating Malinowski in 2020.

Kean, the former minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate, has now secured organization lines in Hunterdon, Union and Morris counties and the endorsement of the Warren County Republican organization.  Somerset County Republicans will hold their convention next week.

He won by a 67.7%-32.3%.  Kean received 40 more votes this week than last week, while Isemann gained just six.

The runoff follows last week’s first ballot, where Kean led Isemann by 12 votes,  48 to 36, with 23 votes for Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Franklin) and 20 for Phil Rizzo, the former pastor, real estate developer and gubernatorial candidate.

Three other candidates — Salon owner Robert Trugman, U.S. Navy veteran Sterling Irwin Schwab, and licensed public works contractor Kevin Dorlon – did not compete in the Morris convention.

Problems with voting machines — and the subsequent departure of county committee members who didn’t stay past the first ballot — led to issues with last week’s voting.  Party officials ended the Morris GOP convention around 12:15 AM on Saturday, more than six hours after the meeting began.

Kean won the Hunterdon line by seven votes, 67 to 60, against Peterson, a Hunterdon resident, on the second ballot last month.  On the first ballot, Kean’s advantage was far greater, leading Peterson 79 votes to 54 (46%-32%).

Isemann, a 28-year-old first-time candidate, won an impressive 35 votes on the first ballot in Hunterdon.  Two Republicans voted for Trugman.

Kean won 89% of the vote in Union against Issenman on Wednesday evening.

Rizzo skipped Hunterdon and Union, and Peterson did not compete in Union.

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