First Latina

When Teresa Ruiz takes her Senate seat in January, she will become the first Latina to serve in the New Jersey State Senate. Ruiz will replace Sharpe James, the former Mayor of Newark and Senator since 1999; James did not seek re-election and is currently facing federal corruption charges.

Ruiz will occupy the seat held for 28 years by Wynona Lipman, who in 1971 became the first African American woman to serve in the State Senate. Lipman, a Newark Democrat, held the seat until her death in 1999.

First Latina