Who will Pucci support in the 14th? Ask him in Round 2

Arguably two geographcally strong candidates in Mercer County fighting for the same big base of support open an opportunity for

Arguably two geographcally strong candidates in Mercer County fighting for the same big base of support open an opportunity for a candidate from Middlesex County in the special 14th Legislative district contest, scheduled for Jan. 8th at the Princeton Hyatt. 

South Brunswick Councilman Joe Camarota would at least need to combine support from the other big Middlesex municipality, Monroe, with his own town of 60 seats, to compete against Hamilton-based freeholders John Cimino and Dan Benson, who stand astride 127 seats.

But for now, Monroe Mayor Richard Pucci (pictured) refuses to back a candidate, and won’t tell the 58 county committee members from Monroe who to back. He has positive relationships not only with Benson, Camarotta and Cimino but with West Windsor Mayor Shing Fu-Hsueh.

“My point is everybody’s so close, we’ve interfaced with these candidates so much, let’s go through the first round and let’s see who really wants it,” Pucci told PolitickerNJ.com. “I’m not going to support a candidate on the first ballot. But after the first round, it could be a different story. Then the race changes to a different dynamic. Normally I would select someone, but given how we’re enmeshed personally with these candidates, given how I know all of them, I’ve told our people go out there and listen to all the candidates.”

Desire and workrate will be big for Pucci, who may end up running on a ticket with one of these candidates next year.

“We want to see someone who’s going to be aggressive enough beyond South Brunswick,” the mayor said. “You’ve got to be commited timewise in this district. Remember, we’re used to Linda Greenstein, who’s done an excellent job over the last number of years.

“In theory, a united Hamilton would be rough to beat,” added the mayor. “At that second stage, if it’s a Middlesex candidate versus a Hamitlon candidate, that becomes a real thoughtful situation.”

Although he hasn’t made up his mind about running for re-election, “I’m leaning in that direction,” said Pucci.

Who will Pucci support in the 14th? Ask him in Round 2