The last man who challenged an incumbent John Bennett is sticking with the Monmouth County Republican Chairman in his race against Monmouth County Sheriff Shaun Golden.
Rich Pezzullo, a candidate for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate in the June 3 primary, told Save Jersey that he’s all in for Bennett to continue to lead the Monmouth GOP.
“He is the Republican in Monmouth county who has known me as a political figure the longest – almost 20 years,” Pezzullo told Save Jersey on Thursday. “He’s set a good example for me as a professional, politician and organizer. I’ve seen him in his roles as a political opponent and political partner. I’ve known him as he grieved the loss of his father, gave his daughters off to marriage and celebrated the birth of his grandchildren. It would be hard to have so much respect for a person and entertain the thought of not supporting him when his record is full of committed service, personal sacrifice and genuine accomplishments.”
Pezzullo, of Freehold, challenged Bennett in the GOP primary for State Senate in 2003 in what was then the 12th legislative district. Bennett was the Senate Co-President with Senator Richard Cody in the 20-20 Senate during the first two years of the McGreevey Administration. Bennett spent $350,000 to beat back Pezzullo’s challenge and the Asbury Park Press, which made Bennett’s $8,000 billing error as Marlboro Township Attorney and nepotism in his legislative office front page news for months.
Bennett prevailed against Pezzullo in the 2003 primary but lost his Senate seat to Ellen Karcher, then Marlboro’s Council President, that November and the GOP lost their equal footing with the Democrats in the Senate.
Pezzullo has the Monmouth County Republican line in his U.S. Senate primary race against Jeff Bell, Brian Goldberg and Murray Sabrin.