Romney supporters prepare for Feb. 5 primary fight

Absorbing some former backers of Fred Thompson and at least one defector from the camp of Rudy Giuliani, Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, state chairman of Mitt Romney’s presidential campaign, today assembled an official, updated team of Romney backers at a breakfast in Parsippany.

"Washington is broken and we're not going to fix it by sending the same people back just to have them sit in different chairs," Kyrillos said. "Governor Romney has a proven record of success in his 25 years in the business sector, as the CEO of the Olympics, and as Governor of Massachusetts. Governor Romney has the experience needed to fix Washington, and I will work with my friends and colleagues to make sure his message gets to as many voters as possible."

Romney issued a statement in response to the show of support.

"I'm glad to have the support of so many conservative leaders in New Jersey," said Romney, who this evening is in a neck and neck battle with Sen. John McCain for control of Florida.

"People all over the country are concerned about the uncertainty in the economy, and I have the experience and the plan to keep our economy strong," Romney said. "I believe we need to cut personal and corporate taxes, improve education and make health care more accessible. I look forward to working with these leaders to make sure we earn the support of as many New Jersey voters as possible leading up to the February 5 primary and beyond."

In addition to Kyrillos, the list of supporters released by the Romney campaign includes Alan Ashkinaze, Hackensack, leader of the Tuesday Group; Assemblyman John Rooney; District 25 Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll; Sean Connelly, Jersey City, former Hudson County Republican Chairman; Don Cox, Trenton, Ewing township councilman; John Ginty, Ridgewood, former U.S. Senate candidate; former Assemblyman Guy Gregg, Hackettstown, former Thompson for President State Chairman; Tim Howes, Gladstone, Somerset County Republican activist; Michael Illions, Iselin, conservative activist and blogger; former Assemblyman Dick Kamin, Mount Olive; former state Senator and Egg Harbor Township Mayor Sonny McCullough (formerly a Giuliani supporter); Don O'Sullivan, Hoboken, Republican activist; Erik Peterson, Milford, Hunterdon County freeholder; District 26 Assemblyman Jay Webber; and Sussex County Freeholder Harold Wirths. Romney supporters prepare for Feb. 5 primary fight