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Governor Phil Murphy can scratch one name off his list of potential gubernatorial rivals. Speculation and whispering as to whether or not Republican Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi (LD 39) would throw her hat into the ring to run for the state’s chief executive post has been definitively settled by none other than Schepisi herself. “In politics, you ‘never say never’ but sometimes you do say, ‘not right now.’ And that’s what I’m saying to recent rumors that I’m considering a run for Governor in 2021,” Schepisi told Insider NJ on Friday.
Prior to the holiday season, grapevine chatter among political insiders and northern conservatives suggested that Schepisi was mulling a run for governor. Barring that, other offices could have been possibilities for the veteran legislator. Not this time. If offered to run as lieutenant governor, Schepisi said she would decline if she remains an executive at the Holy Name Medical Center. “The same holds true for Congress,” she added. “My only current plans in office are to continue representing the people of the 39th Legislative District and to focus on my role as Vice President – Development of Holy Name Medical Center and President of the Holy Name Medical Center Foundation, as well as my most important job, mom to my two kids.”
Schepisi has represented the 39th District since 2012, having won the 2011 election and successfully defended that position to the present. Her constituents can expect her to continue in that role for the time being. “I am extremely grateful for the encouragement I have received from supporters throughout New Jersey,” Shepisi said. “Make no mistake, I will continue to be a strong voice for lower taxes, smarter government and common-sense principles in Trenton.”
Schepisi opting not to make a run this time also saves her from the difficulties and potential fall-out of an intra-caucus duel with Assembly Minority Leader Bramnick. As the topography of the Republican primary field begins to solidify, other contenders are shaping up to be NJ GOP State Chairman Douglas Steinhardt who most recently showed his face at the President Trump’s rally in Wildwood, former Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli known for his anti-Trump stance during the 2016 election, and businessman Joseph “Rudy” Rullo.