Democrat Craig Stanley is expected to announce next month that he will seek his old State Assembly seat. Stanley spent twelve years in the Assembly before narrowly losing the 2007 Democratic primary to Ralph Caputo and Cleopatra Tucker, a casualty of a political war that sought to oust State Sen. Ronald Rice. Rice won his primary despite strong opposition from Newark Mayor Cory Booker; Stanley ran on the Rice line.
Rice has made public statements in support of second terms for Caputo and Tucker.
Stanley is part of the powerful Payne political machine in Essex County. He is the nephew of former Assemblyman William Payne, the brother of U.S. Rep. Donald Payne. His cousin, Donald Payne, Jr., is an Essex County Freeholder.