Assemblywoman Marcia Karrow (R-Flemington) will run for state senate at the special convention held early next year, but she will not run in a primary if she loses that initial battle.
“I believe in representative democracy. That’s what we are as a republic both in the United States and in New Jersey, and the county committee is the representative democracy in our district. I will abide by their decision,” said Karrow. “I don’t think this district needs to see a bloody primary. If that’s what [Assemblyman Michael Doherty] needs to do that’s his choice.”
That also means that Karrow will have the option to run again for her assembly seat if she does not prevail in the joint county convention, although other ambitious local politicos may see an opening there as well.
“I represent small town, rural New Jersey. I feel I’m giving a voice that they didn’t really have before, and by all means I intend to stay in government as an elected representative,” she said.
Doherty has pledged to run in the primary if he does not win the convention.
Karrow is more moderate than Doherty, though she considers herself a conservative.
“I have an A+ rating from the NRA. I think Leonard had a D- when he ran for Congress. I consider myself pretty darn conservative and a true constitutionalist,” said Karrow.
Although New Jersey’s largest pro-life group has already thrown its support behind Doherty, Karrow said she does oppose Roe v. Wade, and would not oppose New Jersey putting the abortion question on the ballot.
But Karrow said it’s her work fighting for her predominantly rural district that qualifies her to move up to the state senate.
Among the legislative accomplishments she’s most proud of: fighting for rural state police patrols, dealing with flooding issues along the Delaware River, fighting the elimination of the Department of Agriculture and fighting against the closure of state parks in her district.
“It’s the fight. It’s really about who’s been on the ground with my mayors fighting in Trenton and bringing them down to public hearings and being their representative in small town, rural rights,” she said.
Karrow would not speculate on whether Hunterdon County Freeholder Matt Holt could split her base during the convention process.