Assemblyman Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge), the presumptive incoming Middlesex County Republican chairman, wasn’t sure where to begin on planning to replace state Sen. Bill Baroni (R-Hamilon)
“How about that?” he said upon learning that Baroni was leaving the senate seat he’s held for two years to move on to take a job as deputy executive director of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.
“This is out of the blue to me. I certainly wasn’t anticipating that, so I didn’t give it any thought,” he said.
Thompson will not officially be chairman until June, but he has no challengers as of this moment and has already taken on many of the responsibilities.
In a March special election, Republican county committee members from the Middlesex and Mercer county portions of the district will pick an interim replacement for Baroni. But whoever they select will likely face a competitive race in the November special election to fill out the remaining year of the term.
“It is a swing district and a pretty tough district,” said Thompson. “There are a lot of public workers upset about what’s going on in Trenton, but then again there are a lot of them that recognize what’s going on is necessary to ensure that they will have their pensions in the future.”