Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli today endorsed Bob Hugin as his pick for GOP State Chairman.
By tradition, the party’s nominee for governor gets to designate the new state chairman.
“Bob Hugin is a self-made successful businessman, Marine Corps veteran, and the best possible leader for the NJGOP at this time. His fundraising capability, organizational skills, and proven leadership qualities will usher in a new era for the Republican Party in New Jersey,” Ciattarelli said. “I am proud to have Bob as a member of this team and look forward to seeing the incredible momentum and success that we can accomplish together. The goal is to win this November. Bob can help us do that up and down the ticket.”
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Hugin, a former Celgene CEO who spent $36 million of his own money in a bid for U.S. Senate in 2018, will get the post he sought last December.
In a race he didn’t enter until the day before the vote, Michael Lavery beat him by six votes, 24 to 18.
Lavery, an ally of former GOP State Chairman Doug Steinhardt, will leave office once the Republican State Committee formally votes Hugin in. This time, Hugin will run unopposed.
“I am happy to endorse Bob Hugin to be my successor as Chairman of the New Jersey Republican State Committee, and I encourage all of our Committee members to support him not only at our June 15th meeting but in the years to come,” said Lavery. “I am confident that through Bob’s strong leadership, the Republican Party in New Jersey will continue to build, grow, and expand so that we can provide our candidates with the knowledge, tools and resources to be successful in 2021 and beyond.”
A reorganization meeting is set for June 15.
The date might change if Gov. Phil Murphy signs a bill approved by the legislature last week with bi-partisan support that pushes party reorganization meetings until after the results are certified on June 22.
There are clear winners in 41 races for State Committee, although one seat in Mercer County, is too close to call. Incumbent Ileana Schirmer leads Trenton GOP Municipal Chair Jennifer Williams by 184 votes.
The New Jersey Globe first reported Hugin’s likely ascent to the post on Wednesday.
This story was updated at 5:21 PM.