Michael Lavery has defeated Bob Hugin 24 to 18 to become the new New Jersey Republican State Committee Chairman.

It is a big win for outgoing Chairman Doug Steinhardt, who has left his former position to run for the Republican nomination for Governor.

Steinhardt enthusiastically supported Lavery. This was a significant boost for Lavery as Steinhardt has established much goodwill with New Jersey’s 21 Counties.

Former New Jersey Assemblyman Jack Ciatterelli supported Bob Hugin.

Atlantic County Republican Party Chairman Keith Davis and Atlantic County Executive Dennis Levinson supported Hugin in a losing effort.

Even though Lavery promptly promised to remain neutral in the Republican Primary race, there is no denying that this is a very big win for Steinhardt; as they are close allies.

To date, the Republican field to take on New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy includes:

Steinhardt, Ciatterelli and Hirsh Singh.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie’s former chief political ally Bill Palatucci strongly pushed Counties to vote for Hugin.

As for Christie himself, he did not tip his hand in advance as to a favorite in this Special Election for Chairman.

A Committeeman from Salem, Michael Mulligan tried to delay the vote because of the process of electronic voting.

Mulligan didn’t prevail as Warren County Freeholder and state Committee Member Warren Sarnoski countered with the quip that they weren’t using the Dominion Voting System.

The results of the election were conducted by a secret ballot process.

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