Consigned to the “B” list schedule of chicken dinner events on behalf of the GOP and forced into the Bud Abbott role alongside her boss at press conferences, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno may be looking forward to a good soldier’s payoff, according to Republican sources.
As she additionally attends over 40 events for various candidates this cycle, including those no-hopers the governor doesn’t have time for, there is growing buzz in GOP ranks about Guadagno as a potential 2012 candidate against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez (D-Hoboken).
Republican State Chairman Jay Webber’s appearance on a Time Magazine list of the nation’s top 40 political players under 40 also place him on party short lists.
Veteran state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Middletown) and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield) are always in the mix as possible senate candidates. Sources say the long loyal Kyrillos is in a better position to win the backing of Gov. Chris Christie.
And state Sen. Mike Doherty (R-Washington Twp.) and Sen. Joe Pennacchio (R-Montville) remain interested in statewide runs for the U.S. Senate. In a bid to take on U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-Cliffside Park), Pennacchio lost a 2008 primary to former U.S. Rep. Dick Zimmer.