Ramapo College Professor Murray Sabrin, a former Libertarian candidate for Governor and a leader in Ron Paul’s New Jersey campaign, appears to be ready to announce that he will seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate.
Sabrin, who has been mulling a Senate bid for the last few weeks, would join State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio and former New Jersey Chamber of Commerce Chair Anne Evans Estabrook as possible GOP challengers to four-term Democratic Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg.
A longtime friend of Paul, who was the 1988 Libertarian presidential candidate, Sabrin could seek to harness some of the grass roots organization and fundraising network built by Paul supporters in New Jersey in a primary that has so far attracted little enthusiasm among Republicans. But one top Paul backer, Assemblyman Michael Doherty, told PolitickerNJ.com on Wednesday that he was likely to back Pennacchio, a Morris County conservative who moved up to the Senate this week after nearly seven years in the Assembly.
The 61-year-old Fort Lee resident received 114,172 votes in his 1997 bid for Governor, winning 5% after becoming the first third party candidate to qualify for public financing and participate in debates. He switched to the GOP and finished last in the 2000 U.S. Senate primary with 13% of the vote.