The next three months could be critical to the political future of State Senator Robert Littell, who faces a possible primary challenge from Assemblyman Guy Gregg. The 70-year-old Littell, a legislator since 1967, has been battling serious health issues over the last few years (he has arthritis of the spine and has lost 75% of his hearing). As the ranking Republican member of the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, he is expected to be the chief GOP spokesman on Governor Jon Corzine’s proposed state budget. Littell’s challenge is to show that he remains an active legislator, up to the task of playing a leadership role on the budget. If he does not, it could help convince 24th district Republicans that it is time for Littell’s career to come to an end.