Jon Bramnick’s clarification that he would endorse Tom Kean, Jr. for Congress makes sense. The two don’t always get along, but Bramnick is a clear stakeholder in Kean’s political success.
If Kean were to defeat Rep. Tom Malinowski next year, Bramnick would be the clear favorite to succeed him in the State Senate – even if Bramnick were to lose his own Assembly seat this fall.
Here’s how it would work: Kean would resign in time to take his seat in Congress on January 3, 2021. The Republican county committee in the 21st district municipalities would meet within sometime that month to pick a new senator. If Bramnick is still in the Assembly, the process would be repeated to fill that seat.
Bramnick would get a year in the Senate and would have to run for a two-year term in 2021 –in a district that will be drawn after the census and would not necessarily follow the same boundaries of the current map.
There was some speculation today that Bramnick was sending a message to Kean by inviting Rosemary Becchi, a potential challenger to Kean in the 2020 GOP congressional primary, as his guest for Gov. Phil Murphy’s budget address to a joint session of the legislature.
Becchi was introduced to Republican legislators in a closed-door Assembly GOP caucus and Bramnick asked her to say a few words.
At a press conference held by the Republican legislative leadership following Murphy’s speech, the New Jersey Globe asked Bramnick if Becchi’s presence in the statehouse a sort of message to Kean was.
“That’s ridiculous,” Bramnick said. “I support Tom Kean 100%. Rosemary and I were talking about fiscal issues, and I’ve known her for a long time.”