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Now that Larry Casha is officially out of the race, Republicans are quickly rallying around Rosemary Becchi as the GOP challenger to Mikie Sherrill.
Casha, a Kinnelon lawyer, left the race today for the GOP nomination for Congress in the 11th District. That was two days after Becchi said she will seek the GOP nod in the 11th District as opposed to original plans to run against Democrat Tom Malinowski in the 7th District. But before that, she would have had to win a primary against Thomas H. Kean Jr.
In a statement, Casha urged all Republicans to back Becchi, contending that she has the “intelligence and gravitas” to defeat Sherrill.
Becchi, a tax policy lawyer and public advocate from Short Hills, formally entered the CD-11 race with a statement of her own
In it, she accused Sherrill of failing “our families by standing with Nancy Pelosi’s partisan impeachment effort.”
Becchi added that Sherrill has voted with Pelosi “98 percent of the time, including votes to weaken our immigration laws and against our military and veterans.”
The last observation seems destined to provoke discussion given the fact Sherrill is a Navy veteran.
It’s also interesting that Becchi’s introductory statement mentions Pelosi twice. While the Speaker is a certified villain for many Republicans, you wonder if this is the best way to appeal to those in the political middle. Republican Jay Webber tried linking Sherrill to Pelosi in his campaign two years ago with less than satisfactory results.
Election Day is almost 10 months away, so there’s plenty of time to debate campaign strategy.
Of more relevancy, up until a few days ago, Republicans had two candidates battling each other in District 7 and a late entry candidate in the 11th. Now they have avoided a major primary in the 7th and have a candidate who has been raising money for months to challenge Sherrill in the 11th.
This is producing unmitigated glee from GOP leaders all over the country. Really.
Kevin McCarthy, the House Minority Leader and a Californian, called the news about Becchi “welcome and exciting,” saying Americans are hungry for change.
Kean called Becchi a “savvy, formidable candidate,” an analysis that suggests he’s overjoyed he doesn’t have to run against her.
National Republican Committeeman Bill Palatucci praised Casha for showing leadership and a true commitment to party unity.
And from Morris County, the heart of the 11th District, Laura Ali, the acting chair of the county’s Republican Committee, also had praise for Casha, saying he showed “true selfless leadership” by leaving the race.
She added, “His future is bright and so is the future for CD-7 and CD-11 residents as we begin the battle to win back our congressional seats. Game on.”