Cumberland County GOP chairman Michael Testa will run for Rep.-elect Jeff Van Drew’s State Senate seat.
“For too long South Jersey has been ignored by both Democrat and Republican administrations. Most serving in either house of the legislature couldn’t tell you where the East Point Lighthouse is or the proper pronunciation of the Maurice River, the mouth of which is where the lighthouse is located,” Testa said. “I’m running for state Senate to be a fighter for South Jersey and to ensure we are no longer ignored.”
Van Drew’s Senate seat will become open once he leaves for Congress in a few weeks. It’ll initially be filled by the district’s Democratic committeepeople. Then, a special election next November will decide who holds the seat for the remainder of Van Drew’s unexpired term.
Democratic Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, one of Van Drew’s two running mates in the lower chamber of the legislature is expected to fill Van Drew’s seat until November. He also has a solid road ahead of him in the 2019 special election, though it’s not clear what effect Van Drew’s departure will have on Democrats’ chances in the district.
On the Republican side, former House candidate Sam Fiocchi has been eyeing a run at Van Drew’s seat and could challenge Testa for the nomination later this year.
“The Democrats have the Governor and both houses of the legislature.” Testa said, “I understand as a newly elected Republican I will be part of the minority, but our system of government was designed to have checks and balances. I will be a Republican legislator fighting to provide the checks and balances to the insane tax policies and the very notion of a sanctuary state propagated by Phil Murphy and his liberal allies.”