For Keith Hamilton, five times may be the charm

One key Democratic leader says that the four-term Mercer County Freeholder Keith Hamilton is the clear front runner for the right to challenge Republican Assemblyman William Baroni in 2007. The 52-year-old Hamilton has sought party support to run for the Legislature in each of the past four cycles, but without success. Democrats picked fellow Hamilton Township resident Gary Guear to run for the Assembly with Linda Greenstein in 1999 — the year they unseated GOP incumbents Paul Kramer and Barbara Wright. Hamilton explored a challenge to Republican State Senator Peter Inverso in 2001 and 2003, but backed off when Democrats instead picked Sheriff Samuel Plumeri and former Assemblyman Anthony “Skip” Cimino, respectively. In 2005, Hamilton dropped his Assembly bid when party leaders decided to support Daniel Benson, a Hamilton Councilman. To run for the Assembly, Hamilton will need to give up the Freeholder seat he has held since his 1995 election. Democrats suggest that his seat will go to another Hamilton Township Democrat, possible former Councilman Wayne DeAngelo. Hamilton won the Mercer County portion of the 14th district (Hamilton Township and West Windsor) by wide margins in his 2001 and 2004 Freeholder races.

For Keith Hamilton, five times may be the charm