Haines preparing to quit Senate for judgeship

Gov. Jon Corzine is expected to nominate State Sen. Philip Haines (R-Springfield) as a Superior Court Judge within the next two weeks, setting the stage for a special election in the Republican-leaning eighth district this November. Burlington County Republicans say they expect Haines to be out of the Senate by next month, and are preparing for a special election convention in July. Former Medford Mayor Christopher Myers, who won 48% of the vote in his 2008 race for Congress against Democrat John Adler, could emerge as a leading candidate for Haines' Senate seat.

These are interesting times in Burlington County politics, where Republicans are defending their control of the Board of Freeholders for the first time in decades. The GOP now has a 3-2 majority, and two of their seats are up in 2009. The two Republican incumbents are not seeking re-election. State Sen. Diane Allen (R-Edgewater Park) is reportedly under consideration to become the GOP candidate for Lt. Governor – something that would likely help Republicans keep control.

Both parties are also thinking ahead to 2010, when Adler seeks re-election to a second term in a district where Burlington County is pivotal to the GOP's hope of regaining the House seat they had held for the 124 years prior to Adler's win. Haines preparing to quit Senate for judgeship