State Sen. Bob Singer (R-Lakewood) was “very shocked” to learn of former Republican State Chairman Doug Steinhardt’s withdrawal from what was essentially a two-person race.
“I thought Doug was in for the long haul,” he told the New Jersey Globe. “Something must have happened for him to suddenly make the switch.”
The New Jersey Globe first reported Steinhardt was dropping his gubernatorial bid Monday evening. The Warren County Republican chairman said he was pulling out of the race because of unforeseen professional obligations.
Steinhardt’s withdrawal leaves former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli as the clear favorite for the Republican nod, though candidates still have until Feb. 1 to file letters of intent for the party line in Bergen County. Hunterdon County’s deadline is Jan. 29.
Ocean County, the staunchest Republican stronghold in the state, has its cutoff on Jan. 16.
Singer wasn’t ready to endorse anyone despite the new narrowness of the Republican field.
“No, no, no. Still the same thing,” he said. “I’m with my county chairmen”
Perennial candidate Hirsh Singh is also running for the GOP nod to take on Gov. Phil Murphy.