Kean reacts to caucus vote, declines to say whether Christie supported him
By Matthew Arco | November 7th, 2013 - 3:19pm
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TRENTON – Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean Jr. says his caucus is united and ready to move forward despite facing opposition within his own ranks.

Kean hung on to his leadership position in the Senate minority after fending off a challenge from Sen. Kevin O’Toole. The minority leader emerged from behind closed doors Thursday with a smile, telling reporters “the vote by end [to keep him as leader] was by acclamation.”

“We had a unified caucus. The caucus stood together in strength and this focus that we had around the table is making sure that we are able to enhance the affordability of staying in New Jersey for all citizens of New Jersey and work in strong partnership with Vincent, Steve, Jon and the governor to accomplish the goals that we all hold dear for all our constituents,” Kean said following a nearly hour and a half closed door caucus meeting.

Kean wouldn’t discuss specifics of the discussion within his caucus and also declined to discuss details of his meeting with Gov. Chris Christie earlier in the day.

“I look forward to going forward with the governor on his priorities,” he responded after being asked whether Christie had a preference in the fight over minority leader.

“We had a very good conversation in the caucus here and we are united going forward,” he repeated when asked again whether Christie supported him as being minority leader.

Kean gave similar responses to questions about his relationship with the Senate’s top lawmaker.

“I look forward to it going forward,” said Kean, when asked about his relationship with Senate President Steve Sweeney, adding that he called Sweeney Wednesday to congratulate the Senate president on his win.

“I look forward to working with Steve,” he said. “I look forward to working with everybody.”

Following the caucus meeting, O’Toole told reporters Republicans are united.

“We fully support him,” O’Toole said.

“Elections are over [and] Tom’s our leader,” he said. “We move ahead.”

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Quote of the Day

quote of the day

"Gov. Chris Christie says he won’t campaign for the Republican gubernatorial candidate in New York because the cause is hopeless: Gov. Andrew Cuomo is ahead by more than 30 points. But he will campaign in New Hampshire, over and over, where the Republican is also trailing by more than 30 points. What’s the reason? It may be that New Hampshire holds the nation’s first presidential primary. It may be that he doesn’t want to mess with Cuomo, who knows where the skeletons are buried at the Port Authority. But one thing is certain: Gov. Straight Talk is spinning again. And it seems to be habit-forming." - columnist Tom Moran

- Star-Ledger

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