“It’s a great question,” said the GOP insider, when asked if a successful rightward tilting Republican presidential candidacy of Texas Gov. Rick Perry could force the shuttering of state Sen. Joe Kyrillos’ (R-13) 2012 U.S. Senate campaign.
Kyrillos is only in the exploratory stage of a bid against U.S. Sen. Bob Menendez, (D-NJ), and this week at least two Republican allies of the state senator’s chewed over the prospect of Kyrillos aborting operations if Perry appears strong and on his way to winning the Republican nomination of his party.
One said Kyrillos should stay in the race regardless of whether or not Perry’s derailed.
“No way, the Senate candidate should be able to differentiate himself from the presidential candidate – that’s part of the challenge,” said the Republican power player.
But the other GOP operative said Perry – who’s said Social Security should be parceled out to the states, questioned President Barack Obama’s patriotism, and suggested that things could get “ugly” in Texas for Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke – should very much trouble Kyrillos.
“Someone like Perry could scare general election voters in New Jersey,” said the fretful source.
The statewide director of Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney’s 2008 Presidential Campaign, Kyrillos was not available for comment.
Sources close to another prospective candidate in the 2012 Senate race, state Sen. Mike Doherty, (R-23), say the anti-establishment Warren County Republican is still considering the presidential field but still likes the man he backed for president in 2008: U.S. Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).