Sixteen years out of office, ex-Assemblyman mulls Senate bid

Former Assemblyman John Villapiano is testing the waters for a possible State Senate bid in 2007. He wants the Democratic nomination to run in the 11th district, where longtime Republican Senator Joseph Palaia is retiring, and has met with Senate President Richard Codey to discuss his possible candidacy. Villapiano was a Monmouth County Freeholder in 1988 when Assemblyman Anthony “Doc” Villane resigned to become Commissioner of Community Affairs in Governor Thomas Kean’s cabinet. He won a September 1988 Special Election against Thomas Villane, the son of his predecessor, and was re-elected in 1989. But after voting to support Governor James Florio’s tax increase, he lost his seat in 1991 to Republicans Steven Corodemus and Thomas Smith. He lost a 1993 rematch to regain his seat. Villapiano has some baggage relating to his personal financial situation, and that is causing some Monmouth Democrats to take some time before signing off on his candidacy. Matthew Doherty, who ran a strong race for Assembly in 2005 — and is likely to win a Belmar Council seat this year — is also considered a possible Senate candidate. Corodemus, now in his eighth term, is seeking support for the Republican nomination to succeed Palaia, as his his running mate, Assemblyman Sean Kean.

Sixteen years out of office, ex-Assemblyman mulls Senate bid