Former Obama state director to challenge Gill in LD34


Seton Hall University Law Professor Mark Alexander, who served as President Obama’s state director during the 2008 primary, has filed paperwork to challenge Democratic state Sen. Nia Gill in the 2013 primary.

Alexander, who also served on Obama’s transition team and as general counsel to Newark Mayor Cory Booker during his first run for office, lives in Montclair. 

He teaches Constitutional Law at Seton Hall.

Gill, an attorney, has served in the state Senate since 2002 and before that served four terms in the Assembly.  She serves on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee and as chair of the Commerce Committee.

Earlier this year, Gill challenged several candidates for the 10th Congressional District seat left vacant with the death of U.S. Rep. Donald Payne.  She placed third in the race, losing to Payne’s son Donald, who will likely win a full term in November.  

She received the backing of the Hudson County Democratic Organization for the spot, but did little to endear herself to Essex County Democratic power brokers, who backed Payne.

The 34th District covers Clifton, East Orange, Montclair and Orange.  Former Obama state director to challenge Gill in LD34