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Peterson won’t rule out challenge to Malinowski

Assemblyman says he’s focused on winning 2019 reelection

By Nikita Biryukov, January 22 2019 1:19 pm

Assemblyman Erik Peterson (R-Franklin) did not rule out a run for Rep. Tom Malinowski’s congressional seat in 2020, but he said he was focused on winning his own reelection race in November.

“I’m just focusing on getting reelected this year, so that’s my sole focus. 2020 is a long way off as far as I’m concerned,” Peterson said. “At this point, I’m just focusing on running for reelection in the 23rd district.”

Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) is considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination to take on Malinowski next year.  Rosemary Becchi, a former U.S. Senate staffer with  ties to the Trump White House, is also mulling a bid.

Malinowski unseated five-term Rep. Leonard Lance in 2018 by 16,200 votes.

Peterson’s legislative district is solidly Republican. In 2017, Peterson got 28% of the vote, while his running mate, Assemblyman John DiMaio, earned support from 29% of the voters.

Their Democratic challengers, Laura Shaw and Charles Boddy, got 21% and 19% of the vote, respectively.

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