Kean won’t run for Congress; Bramnick emerging as leading candidate for Ferguson seat

Tom Kean, Jr. has decided against running for Congress and will concentrate on his new job as Senate Minority Leader, according to sources close to Kean.

Republican sources say that Kean will support Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick to run for the 7th district seat Michael Ferguson will vacate at the end of next year.

The 39-year-old Kean, the son of the former Governor and the GOP nominee for U.S. Senate in 2006, was elected to lead the State Senate Republicans two weeks ago – presumably without any knowledge of Ferguson’s plans. Kean challenged Ferguson for an open House seat in the 2000 Republican primary; he won a seat in the State Assembly the following year and moved up to the State Senate in 2002.

Bramnick, a 51-year-old trial lawyer from Westfield and former two-term Plainfield City Councilman, went to the Assembly after Kean moved up to the Senate. He had been mulling a bid for the U.S. Senate and had promised a decision this month.

Kean won’t run for Congress; Bramnick emerging as leading candidate for Ferguson seat