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Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley. (Photo: Sue Kiley).

Kiley announces bid to unseat Pallone in NJ-6

Monmouth County Commissioner announces bid against House Energy & Commerce chairman

By David Wildstein, January 18 2022 9:14 am

Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley today formally launched her bid to unseat 18-term Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) in New Jersey’s 6th district.

“I am challenging Frank Pallone, a career Congressman who has become a millionaire while in Washington for 34 years, because I am terrified of the radical direction that he, Nancy Pelosi, Phil Murphy and Joe Biden are taking our country,” Kiley said in a video announcing her candidacy.

Kiley hit on many of the issues being discussed by Republican candidates in Biden’s mid-term elections: food prices, supply chain challenges, parental rights, illegal immigration, and support of law enforcement.

“As an elected official for the past eight years, I have seen first-hand the difference that competent, conservative government can make in the quality of our lives,” Kiley said.  “We are all witnessing first-hand the devastation that incompetent so-called progressive government causes in the quality of our lives.”

A mother of five and grandmother of thirteen, Kiley worked as a nurse and pharmaceutical sales representative before Superstorm Sandy led her to devote her full attention to public service.  Her husband, Gene, is a retired police officer.

“We are a middle class, hardworking family,” she said.  “I was never rich. We lived modestly within our means and are very grateful for everything we have.”

A former Hazlet mayor, Kiley was re-elected county commissioner last month with 61% of the vote against former Neptune Mayor Michael Beson, who had served as an aide to Pallone in the 1990s.  She ran two points ahead of Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli in Monmouth County.

Gov. Phil Murphy received 53.4% of the vote in the newly-drawn 6th district, which picked up some Monmouth County municipalities that had been represented by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton).

To take on Pallone, the chairman of the powerful House Energy & Commerce Committee, Kiley must first get past the Republican primary against Rik Mehta and Tom Toomey.  In her announcement, Kiley mentioned her longtime roots in the 6th district.

Mehta, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official and the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate against Cory Booker in 2020, switched from the 7th district and entered the race last week.  Middlesex County GOP Chairman Rob Bengivenga attended his announcement.

A former Republican National Committee staffer, Toomey had been challenging Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) in the 11th but flipped to a race against Pallone after the new House districts were drawn.

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