Asselta rumors, again

Two years ago there was considerable speculation that Republican State Senator-elect Nicholas Asselta would switch parties. Asselta strongly denied reports that he had discussed a party switch with Democratic leaders, although PoliticsNJ.com continues to stand behind our report that he did. Again there is talk of an Asselta party switch, although two sources say the more likely scenario would be for Asselta to be offered a post in the Corzine administration. With Congressman Frank LoBiondo reversing his term limits pledge, and Senate Republicans in the minority, there may not be many opportunites for Asselta to move up. Should Asselta leave the Senate, Republicans (even if Asselta were to switch before his resignation, the law gives the seat to the party that won it in the last election) would hold a Special Election Convention to replace him — look for Cape May County Freeholder Leonard Desiderio to be the front runner for that seat — setting up a November 2006 Special Election against Democratic Assemblyman Jefferson Van Drew, who won re-election last week by in a massive landslide. If the rumors are wrong, you have to wonder how long it will take for Asselta and Van Drew to cease their peaceful coexistance: at some point Van Drew will want to be a Senator, and he almost surely shares Asselta’s goal of someday replacing the 59-year-old LoBiondo in Congress.

Asselta rumors, again