A conservative challenger for Kean

Several Republican leaders are saying that Bill Spadea, the Republican nominee for Congress against Rush Holt in 2004, is mulling a bid for the United States Senate next year. The former Marine and past College Republican National Chairman could wind up as the conservative primary rival State Senator Thomas Kean, Jr. has been trying so hard to avoid. Spadea was expected to run again for the 12th district seat (he won 40% last year), but abruptly withdrew from the race last month. He is also considered a possible candidate for Mercer County Executive in 2007.

"He’s obviously working very, very hard at it. I mean he’s traveling all over the country as chairman of the [Republican Governors Association] and I think at this point he has as good a chance or better than anybody else. His name is household word all across the country, and I think he would make a great president."
—former U.S. Rep. Jim Saxton (R-3), on Gov. Chris Christie