Today is the last day in office for seven members of the State Assembly: Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Camden), Sandra Love (D-Laurel Springs), Richard Merkt (R-Mendham), Joseph Roberts (D-Camden), John Rooney (R-Northvale), L. Harvey Smith (D-Jersey City), and Joseph Vas (D-Perth Amboy). Merkt have up his seat to seek the Republican gubernatorial nomination, and Smith ran unsuccessfully for Mayor of Jersey City; the others did not seek re-election.
Roberts, the Assembly Speaker, announced in September that he would not seek re-election to the seat he has held since replacing the late Francis Gorman (D-Gloucester City) in a 1987 special election. Rooney is the most senior member of the Legislature; he won a 1983 special election after Joan Wright took a job in the Kean administration. Vas dropped his re-election bid after federal and state corruption indictments, and Smith was arrested in July in connection to Operation Bid Rig.
Anthony Bucco, Jr. (R-Boonton), Craig Coughlin (D-Woodbridge), Domenick DiCicco (R-Franklin Twp.), Angel Fuentes (D-Camden), Charles Mainor (D-Jersey City), Donald Norcross (D-Camden) and Robert Schroeder (R-Washington) will take office tomorrow. Bucco replaces Merkt, DiCicco won Love’s seat, Fuentes and Norcross will assume the seats left open by the retirements of Roberts and Cruz-Perez, Mainor replaces Smith, and Schroeder succeeds Rooney.
Norcross is expected to be an Assemblyman for about a week. He unopposed in a special election convention for State Senate on Saturday.