Speculation persists in Republican circles that Rutherford Mayor John Hipp would make a good assembly candidate, but Hipp has not been privy to it.
In September, Hipp told PolitickerNJ that he would only consider running if party leaders asked him to. That hasn’t changed.
“I haven’t said no because obviously if I’m asked to help out the party I want to do everything I can,” he said.
Hipp, a former Democrat and anti-EnCap crusader who ousted incumbent Democrat Bernadette McPherson in a landslide last year, is on the shortlist of Republican candidates in District 36. The district, which covers parts of Essex, Bergen and Passaic Counties, was largely ignored by state Republicans last year. But with results much closer than anticipated, Republicans are looking to possibly invest resources there next year.
“My preference would be to stay as mayor,” said Hipp. ” So I have no desire or plans to run, but to say absolutely not in the event that the party feels that I’m a strong candidatesand we need to feel a good slate to take it, obviously I’d consider it, and that would be it.”
Not all Republicans are thrilled with the prospect of a Hipp candidacy, however. Some are upset that he refused to campaign against McPherson during her freeholder reelection campaign.
"He wouldn't even be supported by his own municipal chairman," said one source.
The Democratic incumbents, Frederick Scalera and Gary Schaer, are expected to seek re-election.