Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Tom Kean Jr. Update

Tom Kean Jr., the Jersey Republican and son of popular former governor Tom Kean Sr, continues to move to the center in search of a U.S Senate seat, reports PoliticsNJ.

Kean remains the only Republican openly seeking the party's nomination for the 2006 Senate race for the seat currently occupied by Democratic gubernatorial candidate Jon Corzine. He has name statewide name recognition and, more importantly, national support. Republican contributors recognize the difficulty of electing a party man from the Garden State to a senate seat (it hasn't been done since 1974) and they're willing to compromise on Kean's moderate positions.

However, the GOP base in New Jersey has shown a lack of enthusiasm for the man that some conservatives call RINO (Republican in Name Only). Although he has attacked Democrats on the same issue that just about every Republican has: corruption, he also voices strong support for environmental restrictions and has made "sprawl control" a personal mission. Assemblyman Michael Doherty warned Kean supporters that competition in the primary is likely and that it is likely to be "from a conservative".

The Republican National Committee understands what New Jersey voters want from a Senate candidate, regardless of party, and they want to provide that candidate in Tom Kean Jr. If Kean is not nominated, the GOP's hopes for a seat pickup in 2006 are looking very dim, as the Garden State does not seem to get along with the neo-cons that currently make up the Republican Senate Caucus.


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