Kyrillos and Webber still banking on Romney

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New Jersey Republicans who had signed on with Mitt Romney looked as though they were heading straight for the triage unit going into Michigan on Tuesday when their presidential candidate came alive and beat the surging Sen. John McCain.

"It was the first state in the mix that looks like America, and he won it by ten points," state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, Romney’s state chairman in New Jersey, said of Romney’s performance in the ethnically diverse mid-western state.

"Mitt had a gun to his head, but the game plays out," added Kyrillos, who’s been affiliated with Romney for over a year now, and who stumped for him in New Hampshire only to watch his candidate cross the finish line in second place behind McCain on Jan. 9th.

Kyrillos maintains that Romney is the only candidate whose finances and organization have enabled to compete in all of the states so far. By contrast, "Huckabee and Rudy have cherry picked states in which to compete," Romney said of the campaigns of former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

On Saturday, Romney can win Nevada’s primary, said Kyrillos. Meanwhile, he added, Huckabee and fellow Southerner former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson have to win in South Carolina in order to stay relevant.

Arguing his own candidate’s strengths so far, Peter Kane, Huckabee’s New Jersey campaign director, described the ongoing Republican primary as a three-man race among his candidate, McCain and Romney.

"Gov. Huckabee’s win in Iowa, strong third place in both New Hampshire and now Michigan, demonstrates his staying power in more diverse states like New Jersey," Kane said. "Independents, conservatives and regular Republicans all went for Huckabee in consistent numbers. This race is wide open and the ‘conventional wisdom’ has been turned on its head."

Kane is scheduled to represent Huckabee at a straw poll brunch sponsored by Conservatives with Attitude at the Hampton Inn in Woodbridge on Sat., Jan. 19th.

Assemblyman Jay Webber will represent Governor Romney; Bill Spadea will represent Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Dr. Murray Sabrin will represent U.S. Rep. Ron Paul, and former Assemblyman Guy Gregg will represent Fred Thompson.

Below, Webber discusses his involvement in the Romney campaign.

Kyrillos and Webber still banking on Romney