Former Republican National Committee staffer Tom Toomey has dropped his bid for Congress in New Jersey’ 11th district and instead will move to the 6th district – the place he calls his “home district” to challenge House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch)
“Redistricting may have changed district lines, but it has not changed my resolve,” Toomey said. “Frank Pallone remains unchallenged in a newly vulnerable district.”
That could put Toomey into a primary fight with Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley, who announced earlier this month that she is considering run against Pallone.
“Kiley is still likely to run, and I’ve never heard of this other guy,” said Art Gallagher, a Republican strategist in Monmouth County.
Still, this could be a better strategy for Toomey, was one of eight Republicans seeking to challenge Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair).
In the 2021 gubernatorial election, Gov. Phil Murphy won 53.4% of the vote in the new 6th district and 52.4% in the new 11th.
After watching as my hometown suffered through thirty years of inaction by Frank Pallone, I am running for Congress to provide new energy, new ideas, and a new perspective in a time when it is badly needed,” Toomey said. ““For thirty years, voters trusted Frank Pallone to deliver on his promises. But after three decades without meaningful results, it’s time we try something new.”
Toomey worked at Thompson Reuters, Samsung and Workforce before taking a job at the RNC in 2020.
Pallone has held the 6th district seat since 1988.
In 2000, Mike Ferguson, who had run against Pallone in 1998 and was planning a rematch, switched to the 7th district and won an open seat.