Union County may not be a bulwark of Republican Party politics, but a chunk of it fits into a Republican-leaning Congressional district, and it is the home of at least two Republican politicians alert to a coming vacancy.
With the announcement earlier today that state Sen. Tom Kean, Jr., would not pursue retiring U.S. Rep. Mike Ferguson's seat, Assemblyman Jon Bramnick emerged as Union County's frontrunner.
But he definitely has company.
Scotch Plains Mayor Martin Marks says he once told Ferguson that if the congressman ever moved up or retired, Marks would be interested in running for his 7th district Congressional seat.
"I'm still interested," Marks, 45, told PolitickerNJ.com today. "I've reached out to (Union County Republican Chairman) Phil Morin, and I've made a few calls to some other people in the party. I certainly want to speak with my friend, Jon Bramnick."
Marks, a dentist who's in his eighth year of service as mayor of Scotch Plains and his eleventh year on the Township Council, said he would have a particular geographical advantage running against Democrat Assemblywoman Linda Stender, and could fight her in her backyard of Scotch Plains and Fanwood.
"I intend to pursue this vigorously," said Marks, a native of Union who grew up in Cranford when he was three.