Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick on Tuesday said his inviting Rosemary Becchi, a possible contender to challenge Rep. Tom Malinowski in 2020, to Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address was in no way an indication that he wasn’t ready to back Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. if he opted to run for the seat.
“That’s ridiculous,” Bramnick said. “I support Tom Kean 100%. Rosemary and I were talking about fiscal issues, and I’ve known her for a long time.”
Kean has declined to rule out a challenge to Malinowski, and though she denies the conversations, numerous sources have told the New Jersey Globe that they have spoken to Becchi about a run in the seventh congressional district.
Becchi, a former U.S. Senate staffer, is the founder of Jersey first, a 501(c)(4) that advocates for lower taxes.
She told the New Jersey Globe that she did not intend to release a list of the group’s donors. Such disclosures are not mandated by law.
Bramnick was unsure whether Republican Assembly candidates should accept money or independent expenditures made by the group, adding that he would consider it if it were a legitimate source of such funding.
“I feel generally all dark money should be eliminated from the system,” Bramnick said. “I don’t know, but I’m not ruling out or ruling in donations from any entity.”