On Monday, Democratic Assemblyman Zwicker of New Jersey’s 16th legislative district announced that Laurie Poppe would be joining him on a ticket as the challenger for current Republican state Senator Kip Bateman. Assembly candidate Roy Freiman was also announced as a member of the ticket.
Poppe, Zwicker and Freiman will be facing off against the Republican slate fronted by Bateman. In January, Republicans announced that former Assemblywoman Donna Simon — ousted by Zwicker in the 2015 election — and Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire would run for assembly in the district. Current Republican Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli opted not to run in order to focus on his candidacy for governor in 2017.
According to Zwicker, Poppe and Freiman will join him in his mission to bring independent voices to Trenton, if elected. In the release announcing the slate, Zwicker cited his ‘no’ vote on the 23 cent per gallon gas tax that went into effect late last year. Poppe is a lawyer and social worker who said she is ready to join Zwicker to represent the district.
“We need leaders in Trenton who are willing to stand up for what’s right instead of putting special interests ahead of the people they’re supposed to represent,” she said in a statement. “I work with New Jersey families every day, so I know the challenges that hard-working people in our state face, and my experience in collaborative law has taught me how to balance competing interests while moving toward common goals. That’s why I’m proud to run alongside Andrew, who’s always been an independent voice, to implement common-sense solutions that benefit everyone.”
Prior to Zwicker’s win, the district was Republican held.