Pennacchio mulling U.S. Senate bid

Assemblyman Joseph Pennacchio is giving serious consideration to a run for U.S. Senate next year. The Brooklyn-born dentist, who is not expected to have an difficulty winning a State Senate seat this fall, says he will spend the summer speaking to Republican County Chairmen and other party leaders as he explores a challenge to four-term incumbent Frank Lautenberg. Pennacchio says that if he does run, it would be to define “who we are as a party, and what direction we should be going in.”

“Does that ‘big tent’ include former Democrats invited to vote for Ronald Reagan who decided to stay, or are we the party of the anointed?” Pennacchio, a Morris County conservative, said in an e-mail. “After all, it’s my party too.”

Pennacchio mulling U.S. Senate bid