Video: Bucco praises Rodney, ducks Trump, says decision imminent on Congressional bid



Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist.) said he expects to decide this week if he’ll run for Rodney Frelinghuysen’s 11th District Congressional seat.

“It’s a life-changing decision,” Bucco said over the weekend, at the grand opening of the Discover History Center at the Washington’s Headquarters Museum in Morristown.

Among other things, he said, he is weighing whether he can raise enough money for what should be “a very expensive race” to succeed Frelinghuysen, a 12-term Republican Congressman from Harding who is retiring.

Bucco, 55, would find himself in a primary battle against his friend, Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26th Dist.) of Morris Plains.

Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist.) and his wife Amy at grand opening of Discover History Center in Morristown, Feb. 17, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist.) and his wife Amy at grand opening of Discover History Center in Morristown, Feb. 17, 2018. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

“Look, Jay Webber would be a formidable candidate… you can’t take Jay lightly,” said Bucco, a lawyer from Boonton Township.

Bucco praised Frelinghuysen for setting “an example for good government that will be remembered for a long, long time.”

The incumbent, who chairs the powerful House Appropriations Committee, was considered a moderate for most of his career and always breezed to re-election. But Frelinghuysen’s support for President Trump’s agenda, and his refusal to hold town hall meetings, sparked intense grassroots opposition.

Frelinghuysen’s chances this fall had been rated a “toss-up” by the nonpartisan site Inside Elections.

Challengers include Republican Martin Hewitt and Democrats Mikie Sherrill, Mitchell Cobert, Tamara Harris and Mark Washburne. The Democrats are scheduled to speak on Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018, at a 7 pm forum at the Alfred Vail School, at 175 Speedwell Ave. in Morris Township.

Bucco, a father of six, has served in the Assembly since 2010.  If he runs for Congress, he will stress leadership, he said.

“Well look, I’ve spent my entire career trying to bring people together. And that’s really what’s driving me in this race. I think people are looking for leadership, leadership that’s willing to listen to all sides, and in the end, bring people together. And that’s what I intend to do,” he said.

Prior to the 2016 presidential election, when asked if he would feel comfortable with Donald Trump’s finger on the nuclear trigger, Bucco said he was confident Trump would surround himself with good advisers.

Asked on Saturday for his opinion of President Trump, Bucco grinned and excused himself.

“I gotta go. Honestly!” he said.

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  1. Webber: “I’m all in.”

    Bucco: “Gotta go!”


    Bucco is a joke. Dems would eat the little guy for lunch.

    Barlas better get off his duff and find a candidate. Otherwise I might have to go with Webber.. at least he has balls.

  2. “Listen, I gotta go. Honestly!”

    You were given an opportunity to express your view and that’s the only thing that you could come up with? This speaks volumes…