Emergency room doctor looking at Senate bid in 7th district

South Jersey Democrats are touting Cinnaminson native Anthony Mazzarelli, the head of the emergencymedicine department at Cooper University Hospital in Camden, as a potential candidate for State Senator in the seventh district. Mazzarelli is reportedly testing the waters for a 2011 Senate bid against four-term Republican Diane Allen (R-Edgewater Park). Allen could step down earlier to concentrate on her courageous fight against an aggressive form of cancer, a move that would trigger a November 2011 special election. Mazzarelli joins Assemblymen Herbert Conaway (D-Delanco) and Jack Conners (D-Pennsauken), and carpenters union official Troy Singleton as potential candidates.

In addition to being a physician, Mazzarelli is also a bioethicist. Though he'smainly stayed behind the scenes, he's has been the de-facto leader ofa group of emerging civic leaders in Camden and Burlington Counties. He was also recently recognized as one of South Jersey's topphysicians under 40 by Philly. One thing that may stand in the way of getting him to run, however, is his independence. He proudly proclaims his moderation on his weekend Philadelphia talk radio show where he is known for presenting both sides of the major issues. Still he is said to be an ally of South Jersey political leader George Norcross, who is Chairman of Cooper Hospital, and he helped raise money for Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

This would be Mazzarelli's second bid for public office: in 1992, he lost a race for Boys State Governor to Richard Zeoli, a former GOP County Chairman who won a seat on the Sussex County Board of Freeholders two weeks ago.