Amidst musings that she may be considering a 2017 Democratic gubernatorial run, Assemblywoman Shavonda Sumter (D-35) has been announced as the Emerge New Jersey’s 2016 Commencement Speaker. Sumter will speak during the June 11 event at BlueWave NJ President Marcia Marley’s home in Montclair.
Emerge NJ is a political training organization for Democratic women in New Jersey that aims to inspire women to run for office. During the graduation, 20 women from around NJ will be recognized for their completion of the training program.
“I am humbled and honored to be the commencement speaker at Emerge’s graduation this year. The organization’s mission to assist more Democratic women to serve in public office is essential,” said Sumter in a statement.
Sumter is currently the only Democratic woman said to be considering a 2017 gubernatorial run. If she does enter the race, Sumter stands to face off against a multitude of Democrats in the primary including officially announced former Ambassador Phil Murphy as well as likely candidates Senate President Steve Sweeney, Jersey City Mayor Steven Fulop, state Senator Ray Lesniak and others. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno also appears to be positioning for a run on the Republican side.
“We are honored to have Assemblywoman Sumter deliver the 2016 commencement address. She is a trailblazer and inspiration to many in the state. Her efforts are known far and wide, and we know she will inspire our 2016 class to further pursue their political aspirations. She is a prolific legislator and leader who is committed to New Jersey’s communities,” said Emerge New Jersey Executive Director Truscha Quatrone.
The following women will graduate from the 2016 Emerge New Jersey program on June 11: Isabel Alarcon, Hudson County; Marie Battist-Celestin, Cumberland County; Aerielle Belk, Camden County; Rebecca Cain, Morris County; Heather Champagne, Morris County; Colleen Curren, Camden County; Marie Marthelle Guervil, Union County; Tomecca (Mecca) Keyes, Essex County; Emily Kullmann, Morris County; Nidhi Makhija, Somerset County; Dana Murray, Essex County; Cristina Pinzon, Union County; Lorna Phillipson, Monmouth County; Damaris Ramirez, Middlesex County; Connie Sanchez, Union County; Maisha Scudder, Atlantic County; Stephanie Smith, Essex County; Bibi Taylor, Essex County; Dahlia Vertreese, Union County; and Sharronda Wheeler, Essex County.