There’s still no shortage of party leaders scrambling to find alternative candidates to Joe Pennacchio and Murray Sabrin in the Republican Senate primary, but Pennacchio’s support has not seemed to waver the counties where he’s already won the party line.
In Hunterdon County, no doubts have been raised in GOP Chairman Henry Kuhl’s mind about the viability of Pennacchio’s candidacy.
“I don’t see that that will change very many peoples’ minds,” he said. “I think that the candidate Sabrin, in my opinion, would need to properly campaign and sell his ideas to people to be successful rather than take something up that’s 17 years old.”
Union County GOP Chairman Phil Morin said that he hasn’t completed reading A Nationalist Agenda — the work Pennacchio wrote in the early 1990s that has led to dyspepsia among some party leaders who fear that the documents will leave Pennacchio vulnerable in the general election.
But while Morin said that he won’t pass judgment on Pennacchio until he has finished reading the document, he hasn’t heard from any concerned county committee members or municipal chairs about it, which he typically does when something proves controversial.
Warren County Republican Chairman Doug Steinhardt switched allegiance from Anne Estabrook to Pennacchio before Estabrook dropped out of the race. As of right now, he sees no reason to switch again, and has received no complaints from his county committee members.
The county line will be awarded by the party’s executive committee, and Steinhardt expects that Pennacchio to will win it.
“I haven’t heard of any brush back here,” he said.
Bergen County Republican Chairman Rob Ortiz, whose organization gave Pennacchio the county line earlier this month, could not be immediately reached for comment.