Open Assembly seat in the 16th

Assemblyman Christopher Bateman is expected to get a clear shot at Walter Kavanaugh’s State Senate seat, creating an open Assembly seat in the reliably-Republican sixteenth district. Possible candidates include Somerset County Freeholders Denise Coyle and Rick Fontana, Bridgewater Mayor Patricia Flannery, and former Freeholder Kenneth Scherer. Scherer is less likely, since the 16th district’s other legislator, Assemblyman Peter Biondi, also comes from Hillsborough. For extreme junkies: Somerset County has produced New Jersey’s first woman Governor (Christine Todd Whitman, a former Freeholder), the state’s second Congresswoman (Millicent Fenwick, who served from 1975 to 1983), and the first Republican woman to win a major party nomination for statewide office (Fenwick, for U.S. Senator in 1982). But only one woman has represented Somerset County in the New Jersey Legislature: Fenwick, who served in the State Assembly from 1970 until her resignation in late 1972 to become the state Consumer Affairs Director. If Bateman wins the seat, he will be fifty when he enters the Senate — one year older than his father, Raymond H. Bateman, was when he left the Legislature after twenty years to run for Governor in 1977. Bateman could become the fourth member of the Senate to have been preceeded by their father, joining Leonard Lance, Robert Littell and Christopher Connors, who is running for the open seat created by the retirement of Leonard Connors. The fathers of Ellen Karcher and Thomas Kean, Jr. served in the Assembly.

Open Assembly seat in the 16th