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Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Bramnick won’t run for Governor

By David Wildstein, December 09 2020 10:00 am

Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick announced this morning that he will not seek the Republican nomination for Governor in 2021.

Bramnick will instead seek re-election to the State Assembly on a ticket with Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz (R-Summit.)

“After careful consideration about running for Governor, I have decided to run for re-election in the legislature with Nancy Muñoz,” Bramnick said.  “I look forward to continue to serve as Caucus leader and serve the residents of district 21.”

The only announced candidates for the GOP nod to take on Gov. Phil Murphy so far are former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli and perennial candidate Hirsh Singh.

Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt is mulling a bid to run in the June 2021 GOP primary.

“With one of the only prominent Republicans in the state who has met the bare minimum of recognizing the results of the Presidential election now out of the race, it’s clear that the Republican primary for Governor will be a contest to see which candidate can suck up to Donald Trump and his extreme base the most,” said Phil Swibinski, a spokesman for the Democratic State Committee.  “That’s why candidates and potential contenders like Jack Ciattarelli and Doug Steinhardt, along with other Republican leaders, won’t even acknowledge the obvious and simple fact that Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election — because they’re terrified of alienating a New Jersey Republican Party that is hopelessly devoted to President Trump.”

Bramnick could wind up running for the State Senate if his running mate, Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr., decides not to seek re-election in order to concentrate on a rematch against Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) in the 7th district.

Kean lost a congressional race to Malinowski last month by a narrow 1% margin.

Several GOP leaders say that Kean will need to choose between the two races rather than do both.

Bramnick, an assemblyman since 2003, would be the heavy favorite to succeed Kean in the Senate.

This story was updated at 1:06 PM with comment from the New Jersey Democratic State Committee. 

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