In Matchup with Kean, Isemann Feels Good

John Isemann may look like an afterthought in the tussle for the CD-7 Republican nomination.

After all, Tom  Kean Jr. is the favorite and others in the race are Assemblyman Erik Peterson and Phil Rizzo, who gained some acclaim last year running for governor.

So where does that leave Isemann, of Long Valley in Morris County?

Surprisingly to probably many, it leaves him in a runoff with Kean for the endorsement of the Morris County Republican Committee.

Isemann sent out a message to Republicans the day after last week’s convention crowing about beating a “sitting assemblyman and former gubernatorial candidate by double digits.”

He added that it’s clear Morris Republicans rejected Kean, who did not get a majority.

The Morris County portion of CD-7 is not all that large – it’s about 15 percent of a district that ranges over six counties. Still, nudging his way into a runoff with Kean is a good accomplishment for Isemann.

It’s also an achievement overshadowed by the confusion that reigned at last Friday’s convention.

Problems with new voting machines so delayed the process that runoffs in CD-7 and CD-11 were both postponed. That happened after midnight and the convention began at 6 p.m.

That hasn’t sat well with Isemann. He maintains that he would have won the endorsement Friday night if the votes of his supporters had been counted.

Morris Republicans will not hold another convention to settle the runoffs.

Instead, committee members will be able to vote online on Thursday from noon to 7 p.m. and in person at county headquarters in Parsippany on Friday from noon to 8 p.m.

Isemann is feeling good about things.

Addressing Rizzo and Peterson supporters, whose votes he wants, Isemann says he is the “best candidate to take on the status quo and defeat Tom Malinowski.” He also talked about denying the “line” to the status quo.

Kean, obviously, represents that status quo.

Isemann hopes he can swing some Kean supporters his way by proclaiming he’s the man to engage “the next generation of conservatives.”

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