If Republicans lose any seats in the State Assembly in the November mid-term election, look for Peter Biondi to challenge Alex DeCroce for Minority Leader. The 65-year-old Biondi, a five-term Assemblyman from Somerset County, ousted Guy Gregg from the #2 leadership post, Republican Conference Chairman, after the 2005 election.
Update: In an e-mail to Assembly Republicans, Biondi denies any interest in challenging DeCroce: “Once again, there is no validity to the recent posting in the ‘Wally’s Edge’ column on PoliticsNJ.com regarding my potential challenge to our leader, Alex DeCroce. Alex and I are planning to run as a team for our current respective leadership positions.”
Editor’s Note: PoliticsNJ.com strongly stands behind our original story, as we did in 2005 when Biondi denied that he intended to challenge Guy Gregg for Minority Conference Leader. PoliticsNJ.com does, of course, understand why Biondi would issue such a statement prior to the election, and we forgive him.
DeCroce became Minority Leader after the 2003 general election when he entered the race with enough votes to oust Paul DiGaetano from the position.
On the Senate side, Thomas Kean has the votes to unseat Leonard Lance as Minority Leader. Kean, the son of the former Governor and the Senate Minority Whip, was the GOP candidate for U.S. Senate in 2006. GOP insiders say that Lance will go quietly, perhaps succeeding Robert Littell as the Ranking Republican on the Senate Appropriations Committee.