Somerset Republican chairman says Hsing is not a factor

If Assemblywoman Linda Stender’s congressional campaign poll numbers are to be believed, then State Sen. Leonard Lance should be worried about Michael Hsing.

Hsing, a councilman from Bridgewater, pulled out of the Republican congressional primary to run as an independent after complaining that Somerset County’s GOP endorsement process was “rigged.”

Now the Stender poll shows her in a close race with Lance, leading him by just three points – 36-33%. That poll has the independent Hsing at 9% — most of which would presumably belong to Lance otherwise.

Somerset County Republican Chairman Dale Florio, however, doesn’t believe that the poll is accurate.

“I don’t put any credibility into that number. That’s just not a real number,” he said.

Poll numbers notwithstanding, Florio said that if Hsing has any effect on this race, it won’t be to Lance’s detriment.

“I think that if he takes any votes, it will be votes taken away from the Democrat. (Hsing) has given up. He’s traded in whatever role he had for some unknown role. He may be a self-proclaimed conservative, but I don’t know if that’s the way the voters will look at it.”

If Hsing doesn’t make it to Congress, he’s up for reelection to his council seat next year. Florio, however, wouldn’t discuss whether he would make nice with Hsing and convert him back to the Republican Party, or whether he would field a challenger to him.

“I’m still waiting for Michael to return my phone call,” he said.

Hsing could not immediately be reached for comment.

Somerset Republican chairman says Hsing is not a factor