Kean backs Gooch for GOP nomination

TRENTON – State Sen. Sean Kean (R-Wall) says he’s backing newspaper publisher Diane Gooch for Congress.

“I’m in her corner,” Kean tells a day after Gooch filed to run in the 6th District. “She’s our best hope.”

Kean doesn’t flinch from the money issue.

Gooch has got some – her husband works on Wall Street, and she will need to be financially connected to go up against U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch) and his nearly $4 million warchest.

Also competing for Republican Party backing is Highlands Mayor Anna Little, who has called for an open convention of county committee people.

“My understanding is the chairman (GOP County Chair Joe Oxley) is going to have a steering committee made up of the chairs from all of the county’s 53 towns,” says Kean. “Mayor Little will have her chance to make a pitch to the screening committee.”

The senator says that a wide open convention with all committee people would prove disastrous and divisive.

“It wasn’t good for the party,” Kean says of past conventions not limited to a chair-picked screening committee.  

At one of the last open conventions here, the party produced none other than Anna Little to fill the vacant freeholder seat of Asemblywoman Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) in 2006.

“I came about through the vetting process of a statutory convention,” recalls Little. “I’m obviously supportive of the convention process. That said, it’s not my place to tell the chairman what to do.”

  Kean backs Gooch for GOP nomination