Bencivengo says no to Senate seat

Hamilton Mayor John Bencivengo said today that he will not be a candidate for State Senate in the 14th district, where Bill Baroni (R-Hamilton) will resign next month to become the Deputy Executive Director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.  

“In the last 24 hours I have had the opportunity to give serious consideration as to whether seeking our district’s Senate seat would benefit the residents of Hamilton Township more than my service to them as their Mayor,” Bencivengo said.  “Although I believe we have accomplished very much as a community during these past 2 years, there are still many goals that I wish to achieve for Hamilton Township.”

Republicans expect that Bencivengo’s withdrawal will clear the way for Hamilton Councilman Thomas Goodwin to go to the Senate in a March special election convention.

Three Democrats – Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro), Assemblyman Wayne DeAngelo (D-Hamilton), and former state Transportation Commissioner Kris Kolluri – are seeking support for the Democratic nomination.  There will be a special election in November.

The full text of Bencivengo’ statement:

“After the unexpected announcement of Governor Christie’s appointment of Senator Bill Baroni to the Port Authority, I received many, and equally unexpected, phone calls regarding an opportunity for me to seek the 14th Legislative District’s Senate Seat.

Questions began pouring in from the press, party officials, supporters, and friends about the chance for me to serve the people of Hamilton Township and all of the communities of the 14th District in this capacity.

In the last 24 hours I have had the opportunity to give serious consideration as to whether seeking our district’s Senate seat would benefit the residents of Hamilton Township more than my service to them as their Mayor.

Hamilton Township is my home. I love our community – a community of neighborhoods.  And I truly believe it is ‘America’s Favorite Hometown.’  I believe our community’s toughest days are behind us now and that our financial condition has improved dramatically from the day I took office.

Although I believe we have accomplished very much as a community during these past 2 years, there are still many goals that I wish to achieve for Hamilton Township.  Therefore, I have decided not to fill the Senate Seat that will be vacated by Senator Baroni nor run for office of Senator of the 14th Legislative District at this time.  

I am truly humbled and appreciative of the support I have received to seek this State Senate seat.  However, I remain dedicated to people of Hamilton Township and will continue to work as hard as I can as their Mayor to make a positive difference for our community.

Bencivengo says no to Senate seat