State Sen. Mike Doherty (R-Oxford) won’t challenge Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in 2020, but he hasn’t ruled out seeking the House seat Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Rocky Hill) won last year.
“I really don’t want to be representing folks in Bergen County,” Doherty said. “It doesn’t make any sense. You should serve because you’re representing the interests of those folks. We have a totally different area of the state, so that’s something that certainly doesn’t appeal to me.”
Though a majority of the 23rd legislative district falls within Malinowski’s congressional district, Doherty lives in Warren County’s Washington Township, which means Gottheimer is his representative in Congress.
Still, residency requirements for House seats are relatively lax, and it’s more than possible for Doherty to move a few miles eastward to make it within district lines. The senator wouldn’t shut the door on that possibility but said the prospect wasn’t something he was actively considering.
“It’s not really something I’m looking to do. I’m not totally going to rule it out, but like I said, I don’t even live in the district,” Doherty said, adding later: “If you see me move into the seventh, then I guess that’s an early indicator that I’m thinking about it.”
The front-runner for the Republican nomination in the 7th is Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield).