The Scene behind the scene in the GOP caucus room
By Max Pizarro and Matthew Arco | November 7th, 2013 - 3:22pm
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Republican state senators ripped Gov. Chris Christie’s political strategists behind the scenes as they defended state Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21) and restored him to another term as Senate minority leader, according to sources in the caucus room.

State Sen. Sam Thompson (R-18), the chairman of the Middlesex County GOP, Sen. Chris Connors (R-11) and Sen. Bob Singer (R-30) all contributed to a lively caucus discussion with criticism of the governor’s re-election strategy.

It should be noted that a source close to Singer later told PolitickerNJ.com that the senator was positive about Kean only, not critical of the governor's campaign.

Members questioned the bipartisan messaging coming out of the governor’s campaign, and cited that as a factor in Kean’s added burden.

Caucus members said they appreciated Kean’s efforts to build the party while up against the massive challenge of a legislative map not in the GOP’s favor.

Ten of the caucus’s 16 senators agreed that Kean would handle Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) better than would Kean’s challenger, state Sen. Kevin O’Toole (R-40), a staunch inner circle ally of the governor’s.

Standing with O’Toole in defeat were state Sen. Mike Doherty (R-23), state Sen. Dawn Addiego (R-8), Sen. Kip Bateman (R-16), Sen. Steve Oroho (R-24) and state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13).

The Back Room

Sweeney goes on offense

Days after Jersey City Mayor (and 2017 gubernatorial hopeful) Steve Fulop declared his support and fundraising devotion to South Jersey Congressional candidate Bill Hughes, Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3) see-sawed onto Fulop's turf with his own "I can find pockets of love in every part of this state including JC" statement.

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Quote of the Day

Quote of the day

"This is my first Mark Smith event. There have been a lot of changes in Hudson County over the last year and a half, and the most important change that has happened is that there really is unity. For the first time, we really are working together. Despite political differences. Mark and I have worked very hard to repair that. I'm really happy to be here in support of him, because I recognize that when you work together, politics becomes secondary and you really have time to focus on government, which is the most important thing." - Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop

- PolitickerNJ.com

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