Republican Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield will challenge party-switching State Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego in the 8th legislative district, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Stanfield, a proven vote-getter who won five terms as Burlington County Sheriff, gives Republicans their strongest possible chance to reclaim the Senate seat they narrowly won in 2017 and then lost fourteen months later when Addiego announced that she was becoming a Democrat.
Her decision to run for Senate opens up two Assembly seats in the politically competitive district. Assemblyman Ryan Peters announced today that he would not seek re-election to a third term, citing a desire to spend more time with his young family.
The NJ Globe has also learned that the likely candidates for the two open Assembly seats are former Burlington County Freeholder Latham Tiver and Hammonton Councilman Michael Torrissi, Jr.
Tiver, 47, is a member of the politically influential International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825. He’s a former deputy mayor of Southampton and served one term as a freeholder before losing re-election in 2019.
Anticipating an opening in the legislative delegation, Torrissi launched an exploratory committee for an 8th district run in late 2019.
Republicans say that the 46-year-old Torrissi is in a position to accumulate a significant warchest, some of it through personal funds. He is the owner of Torrissi Trucking, a large interstate fuel carrier. He’s a former Hammonton GOP Municipal Chairman and Republican Club President.
After Rep. Frank LoBiondo (R-Ventnor) announced he would not seek re-election in 2018, he tried to convince his fellow trucking company owner to run for his seat. That might have put a Republican self-funder in the race against the eventual Democratic nominee, Jefferson Van Drew.
Another Republican, former Eastampton Township Committeeman John Adams, is also expected to seek an 8th district Assembly seat.
Adams, a West Point graduate and Fort Dix federal prosecutor with the U.S. Army JAG Corps, ran for freeholder in 2020.
Democrats almost beat Addiego in 2017, when George Youngkin held her to a 52%-48% margin in.
Assemblyman Joseph Howarth (R-Evesham) won re-election by 520 votes, while Peters won his first term by 350 votes.
Stanfield, a 63-year-old former assistant Burlington County prosecutor who spent five years as undersheriff, had planned on retiring. Instead, she ran for the State Assembly following Addiego’s decision to switch parties.
Republicans refused to back Howarth for re-election in 2019 after determining that he had also discussed switching parties with Democratic leaders. The Democrats didn’t want him.
Instead, the GOP ran Stanfield against Howarth in the Republican primary. She beat him by 2,691 votes, a margin of roughly 2-1.
Stanfield spent five years as undersheriff following a stint as an assistant Burlington County prosecutor.
In her 2016 re-election campaign, Stanfield won the 8th district portion of Burlington County by 14,271 votes (59%). Hillary Clinton won the same towns by 2,532 votes (51%) against Donald Trump.
As an Assembly candidate in 2019, Stanfield was the top vote-getter. She ran 143 votes ahead of Peters, 1,115 votes ahead of Democrat Gina LaPlaca, and 1,959 votes in front of Mark Natale.
The 8th has 9,023 more Democrats than Republicans but hasn’t elected a Democrat to the legislature since John Sweeney (D-Florence) flipped one Assembly seat in the 1973 Watergate landslide.
The district is Burlington-based but includes small parts of Atlantic (Hammonton) and Camden (Berlin Borough, Pine Hill, Pine Valley and Waterford) counties. In Burlington, the 8th comprises Eastampton, Evesham, Hainesport, Lumberton, Mansfield, Medford, Medford Lakes, Mount Holly, Pemberton Borough, Pemberton Township, Shamong, Southampton, Springfield, Westampton and Woodland.