Hunterdon County Republicans have set a filing deadline of January 29 at 5 PM for candidates seeking to run on their organization line.
The county chairman, Gabe Plumer, said today that Hunterdon will hold a screening committee meeting during the first week in February and their convention sometime that month — earlier than usual. So far, Hunterdon will be the first-in-the-state to officially take sides in the race for governor.
Organization lines for the legislature and county office will also be awarded in February.
Republicans leaders have telegraphed that one of the State Assembly candidates in the 16th district will be from Hunterdon County.
Plummer said that the convention will be held remotely.
“I am incredibly optimistic for what lies ahead this year,” he said.
Jack Ciattarelli has emerged as the front-runner for the Hunterdon line after scoring endorsements from County Clerk Mary Melfi, Sheriff Fred Brown, and four of the five Republican county commissioners.
Hunterdon is the second county to announce their schedule.
Ocean Republicans have a January 16 filing deadline to compete at their February 6 screening committee and March 6 convention.
Plummer also announced that Andrew Russano has left his post as executive director of the Hunterdon GOP to work in county government.
“Andrew has been with HCRC since 2018 and has been invaluable to the organization and success of our candidates from day one. He has helped to build our party into a professional operation and quite frankly, the results speak for themselves,” Plummer said.
Russano will be replaced by JJ Cahill, who served as political director for the Hunterdon Republicans before working joining Tom Kean’s 2020 congressional campaign.
“I’m particularly excited to have JJ working for us full time this year as we work to ensure Republican victories across our county and state,” stated Plummer.