Kean burnishes Gingrich, who Helped Dean Gallo in 1994

The 2020 election gets closer every day and Republican Thomas Kean Jr. wants to make sure people know he’s running against Democrat Tom Malinowski in District 7.

Newt Gingrich and New Jersey, perfect together?

Who knows,  but the Tom Kean Jr. for Congress campaign in the 7th District is trumpeting a Gingrich endorsement of their candidate.

“The Nancy Pelosi majority is stifling American progress,” is how Gingrich put it in a press release.

The former speaker goes on to praise Kean’s ethics and overall knowledge of good government practices.
The Kean campaign certainly hopes to get a fundraising boost from Gingrich’s endorsement. That’s important to be sure.

Still, you wonder what, if anything, it would mean if Kean gets to the general election in 2020 against Tom Malinowski.

It’s been more than 20 years since Gingrich became a Republican star with the Contract with America and the 1994 GOP takeover of the House. But then things eventually went awry.  Bill Clinton was re-elected in 1996, Republicans soon lost their majority and Gingrich was soon out of Congress.

Sure, Gingrich lives on as a TV commentator, but you wonder if he really resonates with today’s electorate.

That will be seen.

Morris County politicians of a certain age may recall that Gingrich came to the county in 1994 a few months before the midterm election.

He visited to help Dean Gallo who was facing a primary challenge from Joe Pennacchio, who is now a state senator, but was then an unknown with the chutzpah to run against a local political institution like Gallo. Pennacchio made a big deal out of Gallo’s support for massive sound barriers on Route 80.

His point was that Gallo was not a genuine conservative because he liked to spend huge sums of money on concrete walls. Clearly this was a different era.

Gingrich’s mission was to tell the GOP rank and file that Dean was “all right” as far as his conservative credentials. And that’s what Gingrich said at what I recall was a breakfast event in Madison or Florham Park.

Gingrich’s help probably wasn’t really needed but he did his job.

Gallo won the primary, but sadly became ill, dropped out of the general election and passed away in early November just days before the GOP win that made Newt the speaker of the House.

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  • 1Prop

    I knew Dean Gallo. He was a friend of mine. And Jr., you’re no Dean Gallo.

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