Sources: Kean pursuing support among GOP senators to run again for leadership seat

Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean (R-21) is pursuing re-election to the leadership post he has held for six years.

The senator is making phone calls right now and trying to shore up support in his caucus.

Kean wants to fend off the supporters of state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-40), sources say.

The sitting minority leader went 0-5 on the night in his quest to pick up Republican Senate seats, but one source told PolitickerNJ.com that caucus members worry about the perception of being dictated to by Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3).

Sweeney last night said he’s done with Kean.

One senator contacted this morning by PolitickerNJ.com expressed worry about Sweeney punishing the GOP caucus as payback to the minority leader who put resources against him in LD3.

But a second Senate source, fearful of the perception that the Senate president is dictating to the caucus, said Sweeney may have just handed leadership back to Kean.

The source said Gov. Chris Chris Christie will have to resolve what has turned into a contentious situation.

If the governor wants O’Toole to supplant Kean, it will happen, the source said, but the caucus will not tolerate the perception that Sweeney is dominant over them.

Sources: Kean pursuing support among GOP senators to run again for leadership seat