The decision of Assemblyman Bill Baroni to run for Peter Inverso's State Senate seat effectively ends his fledgling campaign for the 2008 Republican U.S. Senate nomination. That makes Assemblyman Michael Doherty, a conservative from Warren County, the nominal front runner to challenge octogenerian incumbent Frank Lautenberg.
Another possible candidate, former New Jersey Chamber of Commerce President Anne Estabrook, still lacks enough exposure among Republican party leaders to be a factor at this time. At an informal PoliticsNJ.com Straw Poll conducted at the Ocean County Republican Convention last week, Estabrook received no votes.
With Baroni out, look for GOP County Chairmen to begin a search for another candidate soon.