April 8, 2010 -- Businessman Scott Sipprelle of Princeton, was declared the "overwhelming" victor by Hunterdon County Chairman Henry Kuhl, following the balloting on Thursday night of the party faithful at the New Jersey county's Republican Convention held in Flemington.
The preferential vote he won was for the official party endorsement of the town-by-town members of the county committee -- officially making him their candidate for the portion of Hunterdon that is situated in New Jersey's 12th Congressional District, a portion of which includes several mostly river towns in the lower portion of Hunterdon County. As was expected, 7th District incumbent Congressman, Leonard Lance, also won the party endorsement for the remaining portions of Hunterdon County.
This was the 5th straight county convention victory for Sipprelle, an independent investment banker who has not previously run for political office. Yet, he had won all prior party faithful endorsements in recent contests in the other NJ counties represented in the sprawling, almost dragon-shaped New Jersey district.
The 12th Congressional District literally cuts completely across the center of the state, from several Delaware River towns in both Mercer and Hunterdon counties, then running east and north of I-195, it runs all the way to where it reaches within the salt air scent and "across the street" eyesight of the Atlantic Ocean in Rumson.
Thus, in addition to the Hunterdon towns of both East and West Amwell, Lambertville, Stockton, Delaware, Kingwood, Frenchtown and Franklin, the 12th District also includes portions of the counties of Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, and a portion of Franklin Twp. in Somerset County.
Here is a map of the district.
In Mercer County, the 12th includes Hopewell, Ewing, Lawrenceville, and Princeton, and a portion of Trenton, while the Middlesex towns of Plainsboro, Jamesburg, Monroe, North, South and East Brunswick, Spotsboro, and portions of Old Bridge, among others, are also included in the district. Monmouth County towns include Eatontown, Englishtown, Little Silver, Rumson, Little Silver, Tinton Falls, both Shrewsbury and Shrewsbury Township, Fair Haven, Homdel, and portions of Manalapan, Marlboro, Middletown and Freehold.
Thursday night's Hunterdon GOP party plebiscite was held at the American Legion Hall on Route 31 in Flemington. Sipprelle's clean sweep of the county endorsements should now easily make him the prohibitive favorite to win the party primary vote in the Tuesday, June 8th Primary Election.
A primary victory would then set him up for a fall campaign against Democrat incumbent 12th District Congressman, Rush Holt for this year's November 2d election. Sipprelle's most formidable Republican primary opponent, Fair Haven (Monmouth County) Mayor Mike Halfacre, recently withdrew from the race, and graciously endorsed Sipprelle.
Anticipating a primary victory, Sipprelle has already challenged Congressman Holt to a debate on healthcare, and has posted his first political ad of the race.
In addition to Holt's consistent votes for the elements of the Obama agenda, including his enthusiastic support for the recent healthcare bill, Holt has taken other positions that may make him vulnerable in November, including voting to protect the granting of federal taxpayer support for the highly controversial organization, ACORN, based on Holt's assertion that that "defunding" them constituted an unconstitutional Bill of Attainder.