Want an early indication of who Republicans are thinking about picking to replace outgoing state Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton)?
Mercer County Democratic Chairman Rich McClellan said that Republicans recently polled the district’s voters with the names of three potential candidates, all of whom are elected officials from Hamilton, the district’s largest town: Mayor John Bencivengo, Councilman Tom Goodwin and Councilwoman Kelly Yaede.
“I know of at least two people who got it,” said McClellan. “They were talking about the legislature in general. Senate was mentioned as well as the assembly.”
Goodwin ran for assembly in 2007, coming in a close third behind Democrat Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton). Yaede was the Republican establishment’s choice to run for assembly in 2009, but she ultimately decided not to, miffing some members of the Republican leadership.
Mercer County Republican Chairman Roy Wesley, however, said that he had nothing to do with the poll and was not even aware of it. In fact, he said, he had no idea that Baroni was under consideration to become the Port Authority’s deputy executive director.”
“If there have been polls that have been commissioned they weren’t commissioned by us,” he said. “That doesn’t mean there aren’t people out there. I have to assume this is something that Bill was discussing with the Governor for a while.”