TRENTON – State Sen. John Girgenti’s (D-35) colleagues tonight said goodbye to the long-serving lawmaker, a casualty of legislative redistricting.
“Your word is your bond,” Girgenti said, recalling advice from another era. “Sometimes I had a hard time becasue of the partisanship of it. We are all here because we want to represent the State of New Jersey.”
A 33-year veteran of the Assembly and Senate, Girgenti chaired the Senate law and public safety committee.
Girgenti thanked OLS and the partisan staffs on both sides.
“My only regret is I did not have the opportunity to defend my record, but at the end of the day that’s politics,” said the senator. “We live in a world where there are sometimes consequences.”
His colleagues gave Girgenti a standing ovation.
“I know he is certainly a great loss to us in the Legislature,” said state Sen. Robert Singer (R-30).
“Your dedication and thoughtfulness is something I will always remember,” said state Sen. Joe Vitale (D-19). “Thank you for all you have done for the citizens of this state and of your district. I want to say thank you.”
A resident of Hawthorne, Girgenti found himself post redistricting in the 38th District, already served by state Sen. Bob Gordon of Fair Lawn.
“One of my goals is to achieve the standard he set,” Gordon told the chamber.
State Sen.-elect Nellie Pou (D-35) will replace Girgenti on the other side of legislative reorganization tomorrow.
“You’ve had a long, solid service here,” said state Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-13). “You’ve been here a long, long time, and that’s a testimony to you. We’re going to miss you, John.”
“He is the senator from Passaic County,” said state Sen. Nia Gill (D-34). “He never, ever – although he could have – politically oppressed us.”
The Essex-based Gill’s legislative district contains the City of Clifton in Passaic.
“Every time there’s a redistricting process, there’s a difficult time,” said state Sen. Paul Sarlo (D-36). “What we hope is the work he’s done here, the effort he put in here (abides) – John handled that with great dignity.”