Ann Estabrook has withdrawn from the race for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate, citing health concerns. Politikernj.com reported that Estabrook suffered a mild stroke on Monday.
NJ GOP Chairman Tom Wilson issued the following statement:
“Ann Estabrook ran for all the right reasons and is ending her campaign for the right reason. I spoke to Ann last night and know that her decision to end her candidacy was easy from the standpoint of her health and well-being, but still difficult for a person who has within her a passion to give and fight. Like all Republicans, I thank Ann for her willingness to give something back to her country. I wish Ann many more years of good health and look forward to her continued involvement in our party.
This race is about who is best up for the demands of the job. Which candidate is best able to endure the rigors of a campaign and who is up for the demands of serving every day, for six years, to fight for New Jersey? Senator Lautenberg is 84 years old and has served in the Senate for nearly 25 years. During that time, New Jerseyans have watched our taxes increase and our share of the federal pie shrink. It is time for a change. Frank Lautenberg had his chance and his best days, which really weren’t very good, are behind him.”
Estabrook's withdrawal leaves State Senator Joe Pennacchio and Ramapo College Professor in the race. Pennacchio has been lining up endorsements all over the state and would appear to be the favorite.
State Senator Joe Kyrillos was floated as a possible late entry into the race last month by Monmouth GOP Chairman Adam Puharic. Kyrillos was not available for comment this morning, but told Politikernj.com that he will not be a candidate.