Diane Allen Departure Triggers Possible Chain Reaction of Committee Reshufflings

In the Assembly, committee seniority is not tantamount to ascension

Herb Conaway chairs the Assembly Health Committee.

Herb Conaway chairs the Assembly Health Committee. PolitickerNJ for Observer

With Assemblyman Troy Singleton running for the state senate seat being vacated by Diane Allen—and presuming he continues to do so and is not tapped for Murphy’s LG, as speculated in yesterday’s PolitickerNJ backroom item—it would create an intriguing opening for the chairmanship of the Assembly State and Local Government Committee.

The current vice chairman is Singleton’s running mate, Herb Conaway, who has not yet decided whether he will also join the Senate race. Conaway, a physician as well as an attorney, is the longtime chairman of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee and would be unlikely to give up the heftier chairmanship even if he returns to the lower house.

That puts freshman Assemblywoman Blonnie Watson, who turned 80 on February 3, next in line to chair the committee. She’s a former postal worker who spent fifteen years as an Essex County Freeholder before winning the Assembly seat last June when Grace Spencer was appointed to a judgeship. Remember, in the Assembly, seniority on a committee is never tantamount to ascension, especially since we still don’t know who the next Speaker will be.

Diane Allen Departure Triggers Possible Chain Reaction of Committee Reshufflings