For Republicans, a silver lining in Barruzza’s defeat?

The defeat of three-term Cumberland County Sheriff Michael Barruzza by 1,569 votes — a 52%-48% margin — could be good news for the state GOP. Now Barruzza, a former Vineland police officer, could emerge as a strong challenger to Democratic Assemblymen Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam in 2009. And one Republican insider says that if Republicans are able to recruit Barruzza to run for Assemblyman, it might help them convince their other top choice, Cape May County Freeholder (and Sea Isle City Mayor) Leonard Desiderio to reconsider his decision not to run. That Republican suggests that a Desiderio/Barruzza ticket would be most formidable next year as the GOP looks for places to make gains in the Legislature.

For Republicans, a silver lining in Barruzza’s defeat?