While state Republicans have settled on Cumberland County Republican Chairman Michael Testa as their candidate for State Senate in the 1st district, he could still face a primary challenge in his bid next year to replace Democrat Jeff Van Drew.
Several sources say that former Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi is considering a bid for the seat.
Van Drew is expected to resign from the Senate in January to take his seat in the U.S. House of Representatives. Democrats are likely to send Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak to the Senate, setting up a potentially competitive special election in a district that Donald Trump carried in the 2016 presidential race.
Former Cumberland County GOP Chairman Bob Greco announced in a social media post that he would not support Testa, a one-time protégé, for the post.
Greco has criticized Testa for not helping Seth Grossman in his recent bid for Congress and labeled him as arrogant.
“It leads me to believe he’s a guy who’s enamored with large players and has forgotten his home county,” Greco said. “He appears on the surface to be a great candidate but already acts as if he’s the guy.”
Testa needs to visit county committee and ask for their support, Greco said.
Fiocchi served one term as a Cumberland County freeholder before winning a State Assembly seat in 2013. He lost re-election in 2015.
Earlier this year, Fiocchi sought the Republican nomination for Frank LoBiondo’s congressional seat. He finished third in the GOP primary, but carried Cape May and Cumberland counties. Still, he lost a race for GOP county chairman to Testa last June.
“There’s a calling for him to do it,” Greco said. “I think he’s seriously considering it.”