The Senate Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee, slated to be eliminated when Stephen Sweeney becomes Senate President in two weeks, was created six years ago by Richard Codey just in case newly-elected Republican State Sen. Nicholas Asselta switched parties. There was talk during the 2003 campaign that Asselta, who was going to be an easy winner for an open seat, might flip to the Democratic side – especially if the 20-20 split were to continue. Codey created the committee – which dealt with important South Jersey issues — as something to entice Asselta. In the end, Asselta remained a Republican; four years later, Democrats ran Jefferson Van Drew for the Senate and beat Asselta. After delivering a key vote to the governor during the lame duck session, he was coincidentally appointed to the Board of Public Utilities.