Up until Democratic Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker won in 2015, New Jersey’s 16th legislative district was solidly Republican. Now, the party has announced a unified slate heading into the upcoming election in an attempt to recapture the seat Zwicker won during that race.
On Thursday, current district state Senator Kip Bateman announced that he will be running on a ticket with former Assemblywoman Donna Simon–the candidate Zwicker ousted in 2015–and current Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire as his assembly running mates. While current Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli is a Republican, he is not a part of the ticket due to his focus on his 2017 gubernatorial candidacy.
“Donna and Mark will join me in being truly independent voices on behalf of the people we represent,” said Bateman in a statemenr. “The three of us may not agree on every issue or vote the same way on every bill, but that diversity of opinion and ability to stand on principle is what strengthens us as a team. Too many politicians in Trenton press the buttons they are told to press, and are guided purely by political survival. Each of believes in telling people what they need to hear, not what we think they want to hear.”
The slate has declared unity for both the upcoming June primary and the general election in November.