UNION – As former U.S. Attorney Christopher Christie publicly mulls a run for governor, Assemblyman David Rible (R-Wall) says he believes the Republican Party should rally around one candidate for governor before the June primary.
“We have to get unified,” said Rible, who didn’t discount the value of a GOP Primary fight, but also doesn’t want to see a bloodletting that could leave his party sapped by the time a candidate squares of with the muscle-bound war chest of incumbent Gov. Jon Corzine.
Of Christie, the former Wall Township police officer turned legislator, said, “He has a tremendous resume and good name ID. He’s not a far right conservative, and that’s good. I’m not sure New Jersey is looking for someone from the party’s far right.”
RIble took time for an interview at Kean University following remarks by U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security Michael Chertoff.
At present, two Republicans are currently officially in the race for the Republican nomination for governor: former Bogota Mayor Steve Lonegan, leader of the state’s conservative movement, and Assemblyman Richard Merkt (R-Mendham).
“I think Steve’s a hard-working guy,” said Rible, a pointconfirmed by Rible’s colleague, Assembly Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), who noted Lonegan’s statewide organizing ability, but generally questions the harder right tilt of his own party.
Bramnick has already endorsed Christie for governor. Rible appears to be ready to go that way if Christie gets in, but is holding off from an outright endorsement until Christie makes his intentions official.