Monmouth County Republicans won’t vote to endorse a U.S. Senate candidate at the convention on Saturday — postponing their vote to accommodate the announcement schedule of pharmaceutical millionaire Bob Hugin.
Hugin has not yet announced his candidacy, but party leaders who have spoken to him understand that he is running. Party organizations have done this before, when the timeline of a potential top-of-the-ticket candidate and the local organization conflict. There is no word whether Monmouth County GOP Chairman Shaun Golden will call a second convention, or whether he’ll simply ask Republicans on Saturday for authority to award the line in an alternate matter.
Republican insiders say they expect the party organizations to join together in backing Hugin, a self-funder who is talking about spending Doug Forrester-like money in his first bid for public office. It’s important to understand the difference between spending like Forrester and spending they way Jon Corzine did.
Monmouth is the home county of conservative businessman Richard Pezzullo ,who has already announced his candidacy and has some support in his home base. In 2014, Pezzullo ran on the Monmouth organization line for U.S. Senate and won 55% of the vote in a field of four candidates.
Dana Wefer, a former Democrat from Hoboken, is also an announced candidate for the race against Bob Menendez.