State Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg), who will leave office at noon today after 28 years in the legislature, will be named to the Board of Directors of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey by Gov. Murphy today.
Press play to hear a narrated version of this story, presented by AudioHopper.
Bateman will become the second former senator to join the Horizon board; Senate President Steve Sweeney appointed Loretta Weinberg, the outgoing Senate Majority Leader, last week.
The part-time board post pays $82,000-per-year. Bateman will require Senate confirmation, but that isn’t expected to be an obstacle. Former senators are not subject to senatorial courtesy and Bateman has loads of friends on both sides of the aisle.
Murphy is nominating Bateman to replace former State Sen. Joseph Kyrillos (R-Middletown), but Kyrillos has moved to a corporate seat and will remain on the Horizon board.
The 64-year-old Bateman did not seek re-election to a fifth term in the State Senate this year. He was elected to the Senate in 2007 following the retirement of Walter Kavanaugh (R-Somerville). He had previously served fourteen years in the State Assembly and as a Somerset County freeholder and Branchburg mayor.
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick) was elected to replace Bateman in the Senate last November.
Once Bateman leaves office, it will be the first time since 1905 that Somerset County Republicans are without a state senator. That year, Republican Joseph S. Frelinghuysen won back his old seat in a rematch with the Democrat who unseated him in 1902, Samuel S. Childs.
Bateman comes from political royalty in Somerset County. His father, Raymond H. Bateman, started out as a political operative and became executive director of the New Jersey Republican State Committee before winning a special election for the State Assembly at age 31. He spent ten years in the State Senate, including two years as Senate President, and was the GOP nominee for governor against Brendan Byrne in 1977.