McHose says she’s open to Lt. Governor bid

Among the many names bandied about as potential Republican gubernatorial running mates next year is Assemblywoman Allison Littell McHose (R-Franklin), who represents the third generation of a Sussex County political dynasty.

Just before speaking at a news conference attacking the Clean Elections program that she took part in last year, McHose indicated that she was open to the possibility of running for the newly created position of Lieutenant Governor.

“I’d be flattered and would consider it. I’m not actively seeking to promote myself like some on the other side,” she said. “I’m a humble politician.”

Between 2003 and 2007, McHose and her father, former State Sen. Robert Littell, became the first ever father-daughter legislative team in Trenton. Her mother, Virginia Littell, is a former state Republican chairwoman and remains influential in GOP circles. Her grandfather, Alfred Littell, represented Sussex County in the state Senate between 1943 and 1954.

Party leaders from both sides often include women when developing short lists of potential candidates as a way of achieving some ticket balance. Of the 42 states that elect Lt. Governors, seventeen have achieved gender balance between the two positions.

In New Jersey, State Sens. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank, Diane Allen (R-Edgewater Park), and Assembly Majority Leader Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing) are frequently mentioned as possible candidates for Lt. Governor.

McHose said that she doesn’t have any favorites out of the current crop of potential candidates for governor.

“On the Republican side, I think it’s a wide open opportunity, and we’ll see what happens,” she said. “To tell you the truth, on the Democratic side I was a little surprised that Gov. Corzine is going to run again. I heard rumblings that he was not. It will be a challenge for him at this juncture, with his numbers. Obviously having the benefit of the office helps.”

Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) asked just after the press conference if he would commit to Morris County favorite son Christopher Christie if he announced that he was running, demurred.

“I’m inclined to looking forward to supporting a strong candidate in 2009 to try to take back the Governor’s office,” said the freshman conservative.

Meanwhile, conservative activist Steve Lonegan, a potential gubernatorial candidate next year, watched the legislators’ press conference and offered his tacit support to their cause.

McHose says she’s open to Lt. Governor bid