Asselta out of ’09 Assembly race

Former Republican State Senator Nicholas Asselta’s appointment to the state Board of Public Utilities effectively takes him out of the race for State Assembly in the first district next year – something that substantially boosts the Democrats prospects for re-electing incumbents Nelson Albano and Matthew Milam. Asselta, who hinted he might consider a 2009 Assembly bid following his loss to Jefferson Van Drew last November, would have been an extremely formidable challenger against Albano and Milam, and might have helped bring in a second Assembly seat.

One more observation: Asselta has been viewed as Frank LoBiondo’s most likely successor, had the seven-term GOP Congressman run for higher office or retired. His loss to Van Drew, who is eyeing a challenge to LoBiondo, substantially reduces the chances of a career in Congress. That leaves South Jersey Republicans with a limited short list of candidates to replace LoBiondo, if he ever decides to leave.

Asselta out of ’09 Assembly race