New Jersey. Republican businessman Andy Unanue today officially ended his bid for the seat held by Democratic Sen. Frank Lautenberg, just weeks after he entered the race and days after filing closed. Unanue recommended former Rep. Dick Zimmer, R-N.J., as his replacement, the Newark Star Ledger reported. “I have concluded that my extensive business commitments, along with new business opportunities that have recently presented themselves, would prevent me from dedicating myself fully to a statewide campaign,” said Unanue, the former chief operating officer at Goya Foods Inc. Zimmer, a Washington lawyer who served in Congress from 1991-97, said earlier this week he would run if asked. But there are already two other Republicans in the primary and one of them — state Sen. Joseph Pennacchio – said he plans to challenge the move by questioning whether Unanue swore “in good faith” that he was a serious candidate. Ramapo College Professor Murray Sabrin also has filed for the GOP nomination. Lautenberg faces two primary opponents in Rep. Robert Andrews and Morristown Mayor Donald Crestiello.
This article appears in the April 12, 2008, edition of National Journal Daily PM Update.