Just one month after U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez lured the country's vice president to a local fundraiser at a private home, his challenger is bringing a big name of his own to the area.
A $5,000-a-plate fundraiser for Jr. (R-13), a Middletown resident, will be held Wednesday at the home of a Bernardsville attorney and will feature Republican presidential hopeful Mitt Romney.
"We are grateful for Governor Romney’s support for Senator Kyrillos' campaign against Bob Menendez," Kyrillos' campaign manager, Chapin Fay, wrote Tuesday in an email to Patch.
Menendez held his own high-profile event last month in a Morris Township home where tickets sold for $1,000 each and was attended by Vice President Joe Biden.
About 140 people attended the event, which raised about $400,000, according to the Menendez campaign.
Edward Deutsch, a managing partner of the law firm of McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, and his wife are expecting between 50 and 100 people at their Bernardsville home Wednesday afternoon for the Kyrillos event.
The fundraiser, which is closed to the media, begins at 3:30 p.m. Bernardsville Police Chief Kevin Valentine does not expect the event to significantly impact traffic in the area.
Menendez, who is seeking his second full term as U.S. senator, has announced former President Bill Clinton will attend a fundraiser of his in June.
However, Kyrillos' camp feels the incumbent is losing steam.
"Governor Romney is in New Jersey because Joe's campaign is gaining momentum and Bob Menendez is in trouble," Fay said.
Fay said Kyrillos, 52, and Romney aim to make changes as "Barack Obama and Bob Menendez offer us only more of the same: more spending, more taxes and more job-killing regulation," he said.
"As Senator Kyrillos travels New Jersey, and Governor Romney the nation," Fay said, "the message is loud and clear: the people of New Jersey and throughout America simply cannot afford more of the same."