Assembly Speaker Joseph Roberts (D-Camden) has removed indicted Assemblyman Joseph Vas (D-Perth Amboy) as Chairman of the Assembly Commerce and Economic Development Committee. Four other Democrats serve on the panel, but two of them are not really contenders: Upendra Chivukula (D-Franklin) is unlikely to give up the chairmanship of the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee, and Sandra Love (D-Gloucester Township) is a freshman who is not seeking re-election. That means Roberts will likely choose between Pamela Lampitt (D-Cherry Hill), a two-term legislator who represents a neighboring Camden County district, and Albert Coutinho (D-Newark), the panel Vice Chairman who was elected in 2007 after serving briefly in 1997.
Newark, which has three Democratic legislators, has no committee chairmanships. Essex County has five minority legislators, but only Sheila Oliver (D-East Orange) chairs a full committee.