Although not officially the victor in LD16, plasma physicist and Princeton University Professor Andrew Zwicker is on his way to Trenton this morning to caucus with Assembly Democrats.
Zwicker leads incumbent Assemblywoman Donna Simon by 38 votes with all provisional votes expected to be cast by tomorrow.
Officials are counting provisional ballots in Mercer at noon. There are 51 provisionals in the Democratic-leaning county.
There are an additional 51 in Democratic-leaning South Brunswick.
“We are not cautiously optimistic; we are optimistic now,” said Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer.
Asked if he is voting for Assemblyman Vincent Prieto (D-32) today for another term as speaker, Zwicker replied, “Yes, I am.”
Zwicker, however, said he realizes there is a process and that Simon will likely challenge the result tomorrow if he prevails.
At the moment, he’s upbeat and excited.
“I think this transpired because we had a huge grassroots effort going on,” Zwicker said. “We ran a scientific campaign and stayed on it the whole time. I want to do exactly what I campaigned on, which is to implement an evidence based approach. I hope I can be a part of reinvigorating the high tech industry.”
He was also quick to credit his running mate, Maureen Vella of Hillsborough. “I think if this plays out the way it plays out I want to mention Maureen Vella, whose effort helped get me elected, if I am so fortunate,” Zwicker said.