Morris County GOP Chairwoman Laura Marie Ali is endorsing Assistant Senate Minority Leader Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) for re-election to a sixth term in the New Jersey State Senate.

“I am very proud to support my good friend Senator ‘Jersey Joe’ Pennacchio for re-election,” Ali sad. The 26th Legislative District is lucky to have him.”

Ali’s endorsement gives Pennacchio the personal backing of both county chairmen; Passaic County Republican Party Chairman Peter Murphy announced his preference for Pennacchio two weeks ago.

So far, there is no main opposition in Pennacchio. County Commissioner Thomas Mastrangelo has been widely mentioned as a possible Senate candidate, but has not publicly announced his intentions. Mastrangelo lost a bid for the state Assembly in 2021, then narrowly won an unofficial re-election bid last June after Morris County Republicans dropped him from the organizational line.

Although Pennacchio has more than $500,000 in his campaign coffers, it’s clear he’d rather help fund Republican challengers in competitive districts than spend money on primaries.

“My goal is to bring back the majority in the New Jersey state senate, stop the madness and return government to ‘the people,'” Pennacchio said.

Legislative redistricting changed the 26th District, which would no longer include parts of Essex County. The lines flipped Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-Danville) to the 26th and another incumbent, Christian Baranco (R-Jefferson), to the 25th, swapping some Morris municipalities. The county lost West Milford to Passaic County, but gained Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood and Wanak.

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