Former Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Paulsboro) will announce early next week that he will seek the Democratic nomination for State Senate in the 3rd district.
His pending announcement follows former Senate President Steve Sweeney’s decision not to seek a rematch with State Sen. Ed Durr (R-Logan), the unknown truck driver with no money who defeated him two years ago in a stunning upset that won national headlines.
Burzichelli spent 20 years in the Assembly before losing his seat in 2021.
New Jersey Secretary of Agriculture Doug Fisher will run for State Assembly on Burzichelli’s ticket. Fisher served as an assemblyman for nearly eight years before resigning to take the agriculture post.
Sweeney had been struggling to make a decision on the Senate race for more than a year, with a Democrats in the field with a poll last month. It’s not clear if the polling numbers influenced his decision. But Sweeney would have faced a tough race against Durr — or his primary opponent, Salem County Commissioner Mickey Ostrum — in the general election.
A Senate comeback bid would also have been a distraction from Sweeney’s already-announced bid for the 2025 Democratic gubernatorial nomination, an already uphill climb for the ex-Senator.
Democrats have still not settled on a second Assembly candidate, although the head of a Salem County non-profit, Dave Bailey, has emerged as a leading contender.,