Diane Gooch, the newspaper publisher and philanthropist mulling a challenge to U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), appears to have solid Republican credentials when it comes to campaign contributions: she has personally contributed $235,525 to GOP candidates over the past decade, and zero to Democrats. Her husband, CFI Chairman Mickey Gooch, was Rudy Giuliani’s New Jersey Finance Chairman, has given $224,700 to Republicans and $23,000 to Democrats, including $6,400 to Pallone.Read More >
State Republicans are taking a serious look at Monmouth County GOP Vice Chair Diane Gooch to run against U.S. Rep. Frank Pallone (D-Long Branch), in part because of the depth of her pockets.
Gooch, who lives in Rumson and publishes the Two River Times in Red Bank, is married to Michael Gooch, the CEO of the New York-based brokerage firm GFI group who is estimated to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
Pallone has about $4 million in the bank – the most of any congressman seeking reelection – even though he’s in a heavily Democratic district. He is usually at the top of observers’ shortlists as a statewide candidate, particularly for U.S. senate if a seat opens up, and has been open about his ambition to someday serve in the upper house. That, and his early criticism of Governor Christopher Christie for assigning lucrative federal monitoring contacts to friends and allies when he was U.S. attorney, has made him a particularly attractive target for Republicans.
Diane Gooch said that, if she runs, her campaign will not be entirely self-funded. Although sources tell PolitickerNJ.com that she and her husband have discussed putting as much as $2 million into the race, Gooch said that they had made no such determination.
“This is something that we haven’t really figured out yet,” she said. “Any number would be completely wrong. I don’t know what we’re going to spend at this point if I’m going to run.”
Michael Gooch has donated widely to both Republicans and Democrats on a federal level. In fact, since 2007, he has donated $6,400 to Pallone, including a $2,400 donation as recently as March of 2009. Diane Gooch, for her part, has also donated extensively, but only to Republicans.Read More >
In the event that state Sen. Diane Allen (R-7) doesn't run for re-election in 2017, the party has a short list of possible candidates it could field to try to head off either Assemblyman Herb Conaway (D-7) or Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-7).Read More >
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