TRETON — State Sen. Christopher Connors (R-Lacey) says he remains unlikely to run for Congress, and will likely make his decision formal by the end of the week.
“It was never my ambition to run for Congress. I’ve gotten a lot of calls from constituents. I’ve gotten a lot of calls from a number of political leaders urging me to run, but it’s not something that I presently aspire to do,” said Connors after finishing up a committee meeting this morning.
Connors is the favorite of Ocean County Republican Chairman George Gilmore, who strengthened his political clout when Ocean County produced a 70,000 vote plurality for Gov.-Elect Chris Christie. But Republicans from Burlington County – which makes up a roughly equal portion of the 3rd Congressional District to Ocean’s – have all but settled on former Philadelphia Eagles (and now San Diego Chargers lineman) Jon Runyan as their candidate.
Connors said he sees his constituents almost as an “extended family,” and that he would be “homesick 10 minutes on the other side of the Delaware Memorial Bridge.”
Other potential candidates from Ocean County include Toms River Councilman Maurice “Moe” Hill and former Assemblywoman and state lottery commissioner Virginia “Ginny” Haines, who is the Republican state committeewoman from Ocean County.
Connors said that he knows Runyan has been involved in local charity organizations and has name recognition from his career with the Eagles, whose fan base is more concentrated in Burlington than Ocean.
“Beyond that, I don’t know a whole lot about Jon Runyan, and that’s part of what the vetting process would do. I know there are several other people who have expressed interest, so it’s time to get to know everybody."
Whoever becomes the district's eventual nominee will face off against freshman U.S. Rep. John Adler (D-Cherry Hill) in what is expected to be one of the most competitive races in the nation.
Adler is the first Democrat to represent the district since the late 19th century.