Estabrook looking at race vs. Lautenberg

Anne Evans Estabrook, a 63-year-old millionaire real estate developer from Summit, is mulling a bid for the 2008 Republican U.S. Senate nomination. Her interest in the race against Frank Lautenberg is a signal that State Senator Thomas Kean, Jr., the ’06 nominee, will not run next year. Estabrook has longtime ties to the Kean family, and spent more than twenty years as a Director of the Elizabethtown Water Co. She is a former Chairman of the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce, and a member of the New Jersey Economic Development Authority under Governor Christie Whitman. Two GOP legislators are also considering a challenge to Lautenberg: Assemblyman Bill Baroni, a pro-life, pro-labor law professor who has won twice in a highly competitive Mercer/Middlesex district, and Michael Doherty, a three-term Assemblyman from Warren County and a former Freeholder who is one of the state’s most conservative legislators. Estabrook and her company, the Elberon Development Company, contributes heavily to Republicans, although her personal and corporate contributions to Democrats would likely become an issue as she seeks GOP party support. Estabrook contributed to the New Jersey Democratic State Committee in 2001 and 2005, to Bob Menendez’s congressional race, to Linda Stender’s Assembly campaign, to the Assembly Democratic Campaign Committee in 2005, and to the Union County Democrats. If the GOP nominates Estabrook, it would be the sixth time in twelve U.S. Senate races that New Jersey Republicans have picked a candidate who had never run in a general election. The others: David Norcross (1976), Jeffrey Bell (1978), Mary Mochary (1984), Peter Dawkins (1988), and Douglas Forrester (2002). Republicans have not won a U.S. Senate seat since 1972 and have not elected a first-time candidate to statewide office since U.S. Chamber of Commerce President Albert Hawkes won in 1942.

Estabrook looking at race vs. Lautenberg