Latham Tiver, a labor leader and former Burlington County freeholder, has emerged as the favorite for the GOP nomination for an open State Senate in the 8th legislative district where freshman Republican Jean Stanfield is not seeking re-election.
Tiver is a business representative for the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825, one of the state’s most politically influential unions.
The two Republican assemblyman from the 8th district, Michael Torrissi, Jr. (R-Hammonton) and Brandon Umba (R-Medford), have endorsed Tiver. Another potential candidate, Burlington County GOP Chairman Sean Earlen, a former Lumberton mayor, told the New Jersey Globe that he was not interested in running for Senate and prefers his party post.
Tiver announced his candidacy for Senate today, eight days after Stanfield announced her retirement.
“I’ve lived in this district my entire life. I’ve raised my family here, coached here, built my own house here and served in various public roles. I want nothing but the best for my neighbors and surrounding community, who just want to be able to wake up, go to work and spend time with their family and friends,” Tiver said. “Unfortunately, our government has made it extremely expensive and unforgiving to live that normal life.”
He faces a primary challenge from Will Monk, a Mount Holly school board member.
“I have the credentials and public record and waited my turn and I will run off the line for Senate if I have to,” he said.
Tiver was elected freeholder in 2016, the last year a Republican won countywide in Burlington County. He lost his seat in 2019.
Two years ago, Tiver had entered the race for two open Assembly seats – Stanfield was challenging Republican-turned-Democratic State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) and Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) was not seeking re-election – but abruptly dropped out.
While the decision not to run was his, Local 825’s desire to avoid a fight with Senate President Steve Sweeney in the 8th district – might have played into his final decision.
With an opportunity to see Tiver in the Senate, it’s possible that Local 825 business representative Greg Lalevee will call in his chits with other building trades unions and maintain that it’s their turn.
Torrissi said that he was “honored to be in the discussion for Senate, but this has widely been known as a Burlington County seat with 4/5ths of the district made up by the county.”
“I’m extremely proud to represent my home and Atlantic County towns in the Assembly, and I’m in full support of a Burlington County mainstay like Latham Tiver running for Senate,” he said.
Umba said he would “love to be the Senator of this great district one day, but that time is not now.”
“I have a lot of respect for Latham Tiver, and when he called me and expressed interest in the Senate seat and asked for my endorsement, I was pleased to support him,” Umba said. “ As a long-time elected official in Southampton and Burlington County, Latham helped me navigate my early years of public service and politics as a Medford Municipal Chair. It’s only right that I’m now there for him. I pride myself in the strong team we’ve built in this district and Burlington County and look forward to sharing a ticket with Latham.”
Burlington County Republicans have set a February 10 deadline for prospective candidate to submit their resumes for consideration. Their screening committee meeting is on February 18.
Atlantic County Republicans hold a convention to award their organization line.
Democrats have not yet selected their candidates for Senate and Assembly. While they have been competitive in the last three elections, the last Democrat to win in the 8th was Assemblyman John Sweeney (D-Florence) in 1973.