Next year, a new Senate

There is a good chance that a pair of Senators with substantial baggage will be replaced by two women a generation younger. Camden County Democrats have picked Dana Redd, a 38-year-old Camden City Councilwoman to replace Wayne Bryant, while Teresa Ruiz, 32, the Essex County Democratic Vice Chairwoman, is a leading candidate for the seat currently held by Sharpe James. Redd would become the third African American women in the Senate (joining Shirley Turner and Nia Gill), while Ruiz would become the first Latina in the Senate, and the second Latino to serve in the upper house. Camden and Essex counties have skillfully avoided the kind of diversity battles that seem to have plagued Bergen and Hudson counties. Redd and Ruiz may provide fresh faces in a Senate that will see a huge turnover this year, but they would also have to deal with the perception that they are products of powerful political machines. Redd is a strong ally of the Camden County Democratic organization, and Ruiz is a close ally of Newark political leader Stephen Adubato, Sr. Redd began her political career as the Chief of Staff to Camden County Freeholder Riletta Cream, whose husband, Arnold Cream, served as Camden County Sheriff after a legendary career as a professional boxer under the name Jersey Joe Walcott. In 1976, as a third grader, she presented flowers to Mother Theresa during a visit to Sacred Heart Church in Camden.

Next year, a new Senate