One Estabrook supporter says she’d back Pennacchio

Serving on Anne Estabrook’s U.S. Senate Exploratory Committee doesn’t necessarily constitute an official endorsement, according to Betty Lou DeCroce, the wife of Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce. Mrs. DeCroce, the Roxbury Township Clerk, was included on a list of Estabrook supporters during the initial exploratory committee announcement on July 11. But DeCroce says that if Assemblyman Joseph Pennacchio, her husband’s running mate, challenges Estabrook in the ’08 GOP Senate primary, she’ll be for Pennacchio.

“First of all it’s an exploratory committee and right now Joe hasn’t committed to doing that. It’s just talk out there, and I know just as much as you know right now. He hasn’t said for certain and that may not happen. I was asked to serve on her exploratory committee. I sat down with her a couple hours myself before I agreed to it and at that point there was absolutely nobody we knew that was out there that was going to have one,” she told PoliticsNJ.com’s Matt Friedman.

But what happens if Pennacchio enters the race?

“Of course I’m going to support Joe, yes. Does it make it difficult? Yes, but that’s what the freedom of politics is all about,” said DeCroce. “I promised to do this for her and I’m going to stay on her exploratory committee to follow it through.”

“I said to Anne Estabrook that I would serve on an exploratory committee that would not commit me to be supporting her or anybody else when election time was here. I made that clear to her, there was nobody else in the election field and she knows it. I will not remove myself from her exploratory committee because I gave her a commitment,” said DeCroce.

One Estabrook supporter says she’d back Pennacchio