On the sidelines throughout a bruising GOP primary for U.S. Senate, Assembly Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Union) today endorsed state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Morris).
"Joe has worked very hard in my district," said Bramnick, who had himself mulled a bid for U.S. Senate last year before opting out. "I have worked with Joe day in and day out for five years, and he is a very honest and straightforward guy."
A moderate Republican, Bramnick conceded that Pennacchio is probably more conservative on most issues. But ideology isn’t as important as character, in Bramnick’s judgement.
"I think he’s a good man," said Bramnick, who admitted he was finally moved to endorse Pennacchio by what he described as his fellow state legislator’s work ethic and grace on a bumpy campaign trail.
As for the candidate’s 94-page thesis delving into any number of thorny social issues – which politicos statewide cited as an opposition researcher’s treasure trove in a general election – Bramnick said, "Whoever you put up there, they’ll be digging into something to make that person look bad..
"With the Internet these days, if anybody doesn’t have any baggage they probably weren’t born on this planet," Bramnick said. "I don’t have to agree with something Joe wrote almost 20 years ago. I didn’t agree with everything we voted on in the Assembly. But he’s earnest and a hard worker."
Bramnick doesn’t care who else gets into the race at this point.
"Even if my wife decides to run, I’m stuck with Joe Pennacchio," Bramnick said.