If Christopher Christie wins his race for Governor, look for Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce (R-Parsippany) to actively seek a post in the new administration. The 73-year-old Morris County Republican has been anxious to serve in the cabinet for several years; he was interested enough in becoming the Commissioner of Transportation that he discussed the job with then-Gov. James E. McGreevey.
“I am singularly focused on winning a Republican majority in the state Assembly and helping Chris Christie become the next Governor of New Jersey. I am not interested in becoming Transportation Commissioner,” DeCroce said in an e-mail to PolitickerNJ.com. “I am very interested in serving as Assembly Speaker and working with Governor Christie to restore fiscal sanity and make New Jersey affordable again. Any report to the contrary is simply false.”
A DeCroce move to the administration would create two new campaigns – one to replace him as the Assembly Minority Leader (assuming the GOP does not capture control of the Assembly in November) and the other to fill his District 26 Assembly seat. Some Assembly Republicans believe a leadership battle could turn out to be contest between the GOP Conference Leader, Peter Biondi (R-Hillsborough) and Minority Whip Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield). Biondi has been eyeing the Minority Leader post for a while, and has reportedly considered challenging DeCroce. Don’t count out Assemblywoman Alison McHose (R-Franklin) as a leadership candidate.
In the 26th district, former Kinnelon Council President Larry Casha could make a third bid for the seat. (He lost to Joseph Pennacchio in 2001 and to Jay Webber in 2007.) Look for the heavily fractured Parsippany GOP to make a play to keep DeCroce’s seat with a hometown candidate. Parsippany, which accounts for nearly one-quarter of the district, has had an Assembly seat since Dean Gallo ousted John Sinsimer in 1975.