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Joe Piscopo decides he won’t run as a Republican in N.J. governor’s race

Joe Piscopo

By Claude Brodesser-Akner | NJ Advance Media for
on March 18, 2017 at 9:15 AM, updated March 18, 2017 at 9:16 AM

TRENTON — “Saturday Night Live” alum Joe Piscopo has decided he will not run for governor as a Republican and instead is planning to declare he will jump into the race to succeed Gov. Chris Christie as an independent candidate, NJ Advance Media has learned.

Piscopo made his decision because he did not begin the process of running early enough to run as a Republican, according to two sources close to the performer who requested anonymity because they did not want to publicly discuss an official announcement that could trigger state election laws on fundraising.

Republican county chairs started the process of making endorsements awarding their ballot lines starting in late January in anticipation of the April 3 deadline to file as primary candidates. Thus far, the lion’s share of endorsements have gone to Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno.

“You have to be out early,” explained one Piscopo insider. “And he didn’t start early enough.”

The sources say Piscopo was also unwilling to give up hosting his morning radio show on New York City’s 970 AM, owned by the conservative leaning Salem Broadcasting, during the primary season.