Listen to audio version of this article
The Rosemary Becchi campaign for Congress in District 7 packed $387,000 into her warchest by the Oct. 15 filing deadline.
That pales in comparison to the roughly $1 million war chest of state Sen. Thomas H. Kean Jr., the other Republican looking to challenge Democrat Tom Malinowski next year. Still, it’s a respectable figure for a candidate with much less name recognition than the son of a former governor.
But if Bill Palatucci, who represents New Jersey on the national Republican Committee, has his way, Becchi won’t be getting any more campaign checks.
An email from Palatucci making the rounds in Republican circles urges folks to forget about donating to, or raising money for, Becchi.
It says that if people really want “to help the state party or Leader (Jon) Bramnick, (they) wouldn’t be wasting … money contributing to Rosemary’s doomed 2020 campaign. A Washington D.C. lawyer/lobbyist is a terrible message for us in CD-7 next year.”
It adds that such luminaries as Chris Christie, Bob Hugin, Bramnick, National Committeewoman Ginny Haines and “all the county chairs and nearly every GOP official in CD-7 have already endorsed Senator Kean.”
Palatucci, a long-time Christie associate, refers all who are interested to a 2018 article by Politico identifying Becchi as a tax policy lobbyist with the Washington D.C. firm of Brownstein Hyatt Farber, Schreck.
Closer to home, Becchi oversees Jersey First, a public interest group dedicated to making New Jersey more affordable.
Palatucci said he often gets involved in primaries, but not against the current Republican leader of the state Senate.
Responding to all this, Becchi said, “I am the right candidate,” and she expressed surprise Palatucci feels the need to “bully” her prospective supporters.