At best, Leonard Lance has six votes for re-election to a third term as Senate Minority Leader in November, according to a multitude of sources close to Republicans with a strong likelihood of serving in the upper house after the general election. His likely challenger, Senate Minority Whip Thomas Kean, Jr., has at least eleven votes in the GOP caucus – if all incumbents are re-elected.
There are currently eighteen Republicans in the Senate. That number could go as high as twenty -– which would give the GOP shared control of the State Senate. But four Republican seats are in play, which could drop their number to fourteen.
Kean’s greatest risk may be a good Republican year: if the GOP has a perfect storm — they hold their eighteen seats and pick up seats in districts 12 and 38 — then Kevin O’Toole, who is expected to return to the Senate in January, could emerge as a candidate for Senate Co-President.