Who Will the GOP Run Next For U.S. Senate?

Kyrillos

Kyrillos

When it comes to the possibility of a U.S. Senate vacancy in New Jersey, Democrats continue to see a regional backroom rivalry between U.S. Rep. Donald Norcross (D-1) from South Jersey and former U.S. Senator Bob Torricelli (D-NJ) from North Jersey.

But what about Republicans?

While we do not mean to use today’s appalling terror attacks in Belgium as a pivot point to politics, the decision by two GOP state senators to issue public statements on the catastrophe suggests their ongoing interest in international affairs. The fact that U.S. Senator Bob Menendez (D-NJ) is under indictment makes the matter politically germane.

Both Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21) and state Senator Joe Kyrillos (R-13) ran against Menendez and lost: Kean in 2006 and Kyrillos in 2012. Both may feel a certain vindication now as they watch the embattled Menendez.

Today, both Republicans issued statements in the aftermath of the Brussels terror killings.

“The innocent people who were lost in today’s cowardly attacks have our prayers, and the brave responders our admiration,” said Kean. “New Jersey stands with the people of Belgium and all of those who stand defiant against this ideology of hate and fear.”

Then there’s this from Kyrillos:

“This morning’s attacks in Brussels were committed by faceless cowards looking to frighten the people of the world. My prayers are with the families of those lost and the people of Brussels.”
Kean

Kean

A GOP source noted that both veteran prospects are dented, and added that U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3), who first won the vacant Burlington-Ocean congressional seat in 2014, could emerge as a statewide possibility. State Senator Mike Doherty (R-23) and Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26) are also always mentioned as prospects from the conservative wing of the party.

Who Will the GOP Run Next For U.S. Senate?