It’s been 44 years since a Democratic and Republican Assemblyman battled for an open Senate seat

A State Senate race between Linda Greenstein and Bill Baroni would have been the first contest between sitting Democratic and Republican members of the Assembly ran against each other for State Senate since 1963. In that race, Republican Assemblyman Robert Sarcone defeated Democratic Assembly Speaker Elmer Matthews for Essex County's one Senate seat. Also in that race: Democratic Assemblyman George Richardson, who ran as an Independent in his unsuccessful bid to become New Jersey's first African American State Senator.

Sarcone lost his seat in 1965 — he got caught up in an ethics scandal (he was eventually cleared) and in a Democratic landslide — and sought the Republican nomination for Governor in 1977 (he finished third in a field of four candidates, behind Raymond Bateman and Thomas Kean). Matthews went on to spent many years as a Trenton lobbyist. Richardson returned to the State Assembly, as a Democrat, in 1967, and challenged incumbent Congressman Peter Rodino in the 1972 Democratic primary; he lost party support for another term in 1973.

It’s been 44 years since a Democratic and Republican Assemblyman battled for an open Senate seat