Senator Joe Pennacchio and Assemblyman Jay Webber have put their support behind Betty Lou DeCroce in her bid to join the two in the 26th Legislative District.
DeCroce, the widow of Assemblyman Alex DeCroce, is seeking to fill her late husband's seat.
“Betty Lou’s vast private and public sector experience will allow her to hit the ground running in Trenton and effectively represent the residents of the 26th Legislative District in Trenton,” Pennacchio said in a release from the DeCroce camp.
A special multi-county Republican convention will be held this upcoming Wednesday night at the Zeris Inn in Mountain Lakes for the purpose of choosing a replacement for Alex DeCroce, just after the end of the legislative session.
Also seeking the seat is Larry Casha, a Republican committeeman and former council member from Kinnelon. Casha formally announced his . In doing so, he outlined his priorities, which he said were revitalizing the economy, reducing state mandates, installing 10-year term limits, and ending multiple pensions.
Casha and Betty Lou DeCroce are the only two candidates to publicly announce their bids.
Pennacchio and Webber sent a letter to the Republican County Committee members to offer their endorsement of their late running mate's wife.
“I have known Betty Lou for years and I would be honored to serve with someone of her caliber in the State Assembly,” said Webber. “I am confident she will be a partner with me in continuing to restore fiscal discipline to state government and creating an environment that allows us to create private sector jobs and grow our economy.”
Parsippany Township Councilman Michael dePierro, a longtime leader in Morris County Republican circles, also offered her his support this week.
"In my opinion, Betty Lou DeCroce is qualified in her own right to function successfully as an Assemblywoman," he said. "She has many years of experience in local government and state government. She is very familiar with Alex's initiatives and activities and would be productive right from the start. I support Betty Lou not because she was Alex's wife. I support her because I believe that she is the best candidate."
Betty Lou DeCroce thanked Webber and Pennacchio for their support in the release.
She is the current deputy commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs. In the past, she has served in a number of elected and appointed positions, including as Roxbury's municipal clerk. She also is a Realtor with , as was her husband.
Casha has served as executive director and finance chair of the Morris County Republican Committee, a Republican State committee member and chairman of the Kinnelon Republican Committee. He and his wife, Debra Eckert Casha, own Casha Real Estate, LLC and law offices in Montville.