Jack Rafferty, who spent 24 years as the Mayor of Hamilton Township before a scandal forced his retirement in 1999, will seek the Republican nomination for State Assembly in the fourteenth district. He will challenge Hamilton Councilman Thomas Goodwin at the Mercer GOP Convention tonight.
The seat is being vacated by Bill Baroni, who will run for the State Senate.
Rafferty was elected to the State Assembly in 1985, narrowly defeating incumbent Joseph Patero in the Republican landslide that year. He did not seek re-election to a second term in 1987 amidts a dual officeholding backlash. In 1981, Rafferty unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination for Governor.
If Rafferty were to win an Assembly seat, he might have to trade his legacy: a congressional staffer tells PoliticsNJ.com that federal law prohibits a post office from being named for a sitting elected official — potentially jeopardizing the John K. Rafferty Post Office in Hamilton that was named at the request of Christopher Smith while the Republicans controlled Congress.