Vincent Panico, the president of the Hunterdon Central Regional Board of Education, will seek the Republican nomination for State Assembly in the 16th district.
The 29-year-old Panico is expected to be the candidate supported by the Hunterdon GOP organization for a slot on the ticket.
If he wins, Panico would become the first commercial hot air balloon pilot to serve in the New Jersey Legislature.
Panico was elected to the Readington school board in 2012, at age 20, and moved to the regional school board in 2015. He was unopposed for re-election in 2018.
As a school board member, Panico emerged as a critic of Gov. Phil Murphy, criticizing his “failing policies which damage New Jersey schools and students. And saying that he spent part of 2020 “making sure Hunterdon Central students do not miss a single day of education by successfully and safely navigating Phil Murphy’s COVID restrictions.”
Panico praised State Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg), who announced his retirement today.
“Senator Bateman and his father have been proponents of education in New Jersey,” Panico said. “As a product of the community college system, they have had an impact on my own life.”
Panico most recently was a sales manager at Comodo Cybersecurity and a former associate professor of computer science at Raritan Valley Community College.