Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) has decided not to seek the Republican nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 11th district and has endorsed Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) for the seat.
“I’m confident that Jay can and will run the kind of campaign necessary to keep this seat in Republican hands, and ultimately, protect taxpayers from a liberal, big-government approach under Nancy Pelosi,” Bucco said. “After thoughtful deliberation about politics and building a winning campaign, ultimately I came to realize that at this point in my life, turning things upside-down to be in Washington was too big a price to pay for myself and my family.”
Bucco had been mulling a House bid since Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen said he would not seek re-election to a thirteenth term. Bucco wants to succeed his father, State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco (R-Boonton) at some point. Senator Bucco turns 80 this month and his seat is not up until 2021.
“I was floored by the outpouring of support from so many important leaders across Morris County, and humbled by an energy within the Republican Party that I haven’t seen in years,” said Bucco.
Webber announced his candidacy a few days after Frelinghuysen’s announcement. State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville), who would have been a formidable candidate for the nomination, made a quick decision not to run due to the short runway of the race. Former congressional aide Kate Whitman and Assemblywoman Betty Lou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) also passed on the race.
Bucco is expected to seek re-election to a sixth term in the State Assembly next year and has a fundraiser scheduled for later this week.
“My work in Trenton isn’t finished. I want to continue fighting for taxpayers and deliver a more affordable New Jersey. With the tax-and spend policies proposed by the new administration, it’s now more important now than ever,” Bucco said. “I want to thank the dozens of legislators, Mayors, Council people, party leaders and others who offered their name and support. It means so much to me and my family, and we will not forget it.”
Trucking company executive Jerry Langer and former Harding Mayor Nicolas Platt are still mulling their chances to win the seat. State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) is not expected to run.
Attorney Martin Hewitt was the first to enter the race. He had planned to challenge Frelinghuysen in the Republican primary