So far, the talk of potential Republican interim replacements for state Sen. Bill Baroni has focused on a few Republicans from Hamilton, in Mercer County.
But Middlesex County Republican Chairman Joseph Leo says not to count Republicans from his own county, which, with five towns in the 14th Legislative District, makes up a slightly smaller portion of it than Mercer.
Leo said that nobody had reached out to him yet to express interest because most people were just waking up to the news that Baroni is leaving the senate to become a high ranking Port Authority official.
“There undoubtedly will be people. There have been people have expressed interest before for legislative seats,” he said.
Leo rattled off a list of elected Republicans from the district who he though would make strong candidates: former Assemblywoman Barbara Wright; former Jamesburg Councilman Adam Bushman, who unsuccessfully sought an assembly seat in 2007; College of New Jersey Senior Brian Hackett, who at 21 ran unsuccessfully for assembly in the Republican primary last year (edit: while Hackett meets the age requirement for the assembly, the state constitution requires senators to be at least 30); Cranbury council members David Stout and Win Cody; former Cranbury Councilman and municipal GOP chair Wayne Wittman; Monroe Councilman Michael Liebowitz; Jamesburg Councilman Gregory Newton and South Brunswick Councilman John O’Sullivan.
“Nobody has called me yet and of course it’s only a day into the process. I know a number of people that have expressed interest in years past,” he said.
Republican county committee members from the Mercer and Middlesex portions of the district will meet next month to pick Baroni’s replacement. The winner of that special election will have to seek reelection in November.