Home>Campaigns>Kiley wins Middlesex GOP line for Congress in bid to oust Pallone

Republican congressional candidates Sue Kiley (NJ-6), right, and Darius Mayfield (NJ-12). (Photo: Art Gallagher).

Kiley wins Middlesex GOP line for Congress in bid to oust Pallone

Middlesex Republicans back Mayfield in NJ-12 with 95% of vote

By David Wildstein, March 19 2022 3:17 pm

The Middlesex County Republican organization line for Congress in New Jersey’s 6th district will go to Sue Kiley, who is now the clear frontrunner in her bid to unseat 18-term incumbent Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch), the powerful chairman of  the House Energy & Commerce Committee.

Kiley, a Monmouth County Commissioner and former Hazlet mayor, defeated former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official Rik Meta by 112 to 54 vote, 67%-32%,  at the Middlesex GOP convention on Saturday.

“Middlesex County Republicans showed up with real energy to beat Frank Pallone and Bonnie Watson Coleman and build on the gains we made across New Jersey last year,” said Middlesex County GOP Chairman Rob Bengivenga.  “I am proud of their efforts and grateful to all who participated.  I look forward to working with our strong slate of common sense conservatives for victory in November.”

Mehta said he remains in the race to take on Pallone and is now reviewing what an off-the-line race might look like.

“I have too many supporters in Middlesex to walk right,” Mehta told the New Jersey Globe.

She has already secured the organization line in Monmouth County after winning their convention last month with 67% of the vote.

Earlier this month, Kiley won a Middlesex GOP screening committee vote by a similar 2-1 margin.

Former Republican National Committee staffer Thomas Toomey and 2021 Libertarian gubernatorial candidate Gregg Mele are also vying for the chance to take on Pallone.  Mele received two votes, and two ballots were voided.

Mehta moved to Iselin earlier this year after dropping his bid for the GOP House nomination against Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in order to run against Pallone.  He was the Republican nominee for U.S. Senate in 2000 against Cory Booker and had won organization lines in Monmouth and Middlesex.  He holds the record for the most votes ever received by a GOP statewide candidate in New Jersey.

In the next-door 12th district, Republican Darius Mayfield won his third organization line in his bid to unseat Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing).

He defeated Nick Catucci, a filmmaker, 53 to 3, a landslide 95% victory.

Mayfield scored convention wins in Mercer and Somerset counties earlier this week.

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