Assemblyman Neil Cohen, who is expected to resign his seat in the Legislature amidst an investigation of child pornography on his office computer, will also give up one of the most powerful committee chairmanships in the Assembly: Financial Institutions and Insurance. Speaker Joseph Roberts will decide who succeeds Cohen; possible candidates include Jack Conners, a Camden County Democrat (like Roberts) and a retired banker; and John Wisniewski, who now heads the also powerful Assembly Transportation Committee. Lower down on the list are John McKeon, who is a close political ally of Senate President Richard Codey; and current Vice Chair Grace Spencer, a freshman from Newark who served as Mayor Cory Booker’s Deputy Campaign Manager.
Conners is Chairman of the Assembly Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, McKeon chairs the Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee. This will potentially set off a chain reaction of new committee chairmen.
Cohen is also the Deputy Speaker, and Roberts may have to pick someone to take his Assembly leadership post – although there are six other Deputy Speakers.