It was one of those rooms where the power couldn’t help but impress itself.
This was the Baltusrol Golf Club on Tuesday evening, where Republican players came out in all their finery for Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-21).
The room included Gov. Chris Christie confidant Bill Palatucci, Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore, former U.S. Senator Jeff Chiesa, Somerset County Republican Chairman Al Gaburo, Republican operative Chris Russell, and former Governor Donald DiFrancesco.
Mild cocktail cackling abided when someone pointed out that Bramnick – if he runs for governor in 2017 – has this fierce core of Christie power, while his seeming fellow establishment rival for the governorship, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guradagno, has a PAC run by former Monmouth County Clerk Claire French.
But the optics of power raising money for Bramnick for Assembly and/or the Assembly Minority Office at $250 a head does not diminish the goodwill Guadagno has developed among chairs grateful to her for showing up at their events through the years while Christie has tried to gobble up out-of-state political turf toward a 2016 presidential run. While unable to suppress the argument that Bramnick’s fundraiser projects power Guadagno seemingly cannot automatically assemble, the source had to concede the counterview that the LG can summon rank and file party support.