Pat Politano, spokesman for state Sen. Nia Gill (D-34), Montclair, confirmed that the veteran senator will seek the vacant District 10 Congressional seat.
“We’re ready to go,” said Politano.
Gill is the second candidate to officially declare intentions to pursue the seat left vacant by the death of U.S. Rep. Donald Payne (D-10).
Newark West Ward Councilman Ronald C. Rice is also running.
The entry of Gill into the race stunned political observers, who expected Gill’s districtmate, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver (D-34), to get in the contest if the late congressman’s son, Newark At-Large Councilman Donald Payne, Jr., (D-10), doesn’t run.
Gill’s interest in the seat was first reported by the Star Ledger.
An Essex County Democratic source close to the process said Payne, Jr. plans to take the next few days to assess the future.
Initially seen as the establishment frontrunner, his Newark family ties, including care for three triplets, have some party players questioning whether he will utlimately be the party’s pick.