Sussex County Freeholder Sylvia Petrillo, who had mulled her own bid for Congress, has endorsed newcomer Antony Ghee for the GOP nomination in the 11th district.
“Growing up in Newark, raising a family in Sussex County and operating a business in Morris County I have a unique perspective as to what Congressional District 11 needs from its next member of Congress. What we need is a Republican candidate with conservative values, a pragmatic approach to solving problems, a life story that everyone can identify with and the ability to attract voters from all ends of the district,” Petillo said. “After spending time getting to know both candidates, and weighing my decision very carefully, I truly believe the candidate the Republican Party and residents of District 11 need right now is Antony Ghee.”
After Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen announced last month that he would not seek re-election, Petrillo was among a large group of Republicans who expressed interest in running. She is the first public official in Sussex County to back Ghee, a hedge fund manager and Army Reserve JAG major.
“Tony is someone who’s life’s story is deeply rooted in American values of family, hard work, determination, service to our country and a desire to never let circumstance get in the way of achieving success,” said Petrillo, a former Mayor of Hopatcong.
Petrillo hinted that other candidates for the nomination, like Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains), should drop out of the race and avoid a divisive Republican primary.
“As a Party we need to come together quickly and unite behind the best candidate that can lead us to victory. A long, drawn-out and costly primary will not help us win in November. For the good of the Party, I ask everyone to get behind and support Tony’s candidacy,” said Petrillo. “I believe Tony is the only candidate who can win in November to succeed Rodney Frelinghuysen. That is why I am proud to endorse Republican Antony Ghee for Congress and urge everyone to do so.
Ghee said he was honored to receive Petrillo’s support, calling her “a woman of impeccable character, strong moral values and one of the best public servants our State has to offer.”
“We started this campaign less than a week ago with the idea that when the public heard our message of conservative values combined with a common-sense approach to solving problems it would resonate. In such a short time to be able to count Sylvia’s support means a lot,” said Ghee. “Sylvia and I shared our story of growing up and fighting for what we believed in. We talked about giving back to the community from which we came. We discussed the problems that face this district and country and agreed that it will take someone with a message that resonates with everyone to win in November. I can’t thank Sylvia enough for her confidence in me and I look forward to campaigning with her as we work towards victory.”