Home>Highlight>Some districts just send white guys to Trenton

Josephine Margetts represented Morris County in the New Jersey State Assembly from 1968 to 1974. She was the Republican nominee for State Senator in 1973, but lost to Democrat Stephen Wiley

Some districts just send white guys to Trenton

Six districts have gone 25+ years without electing a woman; two never have

By David Wildstein, January 25 2019 7:33 pm

When Morris County voters elected Josephine Margetts (R-New Vernon) and Ann Klein (D-Morris Township) to the New Jersey State Assembly in 1971, the county accounted for two-thirds of the total number of women in the lower house.

The Morris County-based 25th district has not elected a woman since Rosemarie Totaro (D-Denville) won in 1977, one of six in the state that has elected only men over the last 25 years.

The 1st district in Cape May and Cumberland counties has never sent a woman to the Legislature.  When Bob Andrzejczak (D-Dennis) resigned this month to take a Senate seat, Democrats re placed him with Matthew Milam (D-Vineland).

Since Delores Cooper (R-Atlantic City) left in 1991, the Atlantic-based 2nd district has elected only men.  Ventnor Mayor Beth Holtzman dropped her bid for the GOP nomination earlier this month, leaving four men competing for the Republican nomination to face the two male incumbents.

The last woman to win the 10th district, where Assemblyman David Wolfe (R-Brick) is retiring after 28 years in office, was Virginia Haines (R-Toms River).  She ran with Wolfe in 1991 and 1993 but resigned at the start of her second term to become state lottery director.

The 17th district has not elected a woman legislator since 1983, when Angela Perun (D-Plainfield) won her second term as a Democrat.  Middlesex Democrats dumped her from the line in 1985; she ran as a Republican and came within 452 votes of beating Bob Smith (D-Piscataway).

District 30 was created in 1991 as a new Ocean-Burlington seat and has never been represented by a woman.

In the 25th, Democrats are running two women: Lisa Bhimani, a physician who won 48% of the vote in a 2017 State Senate race, and Chester Democratic municipal chair Darcy Draeger.  They will oppose five-term incumbent Anthony Bucco (R-Boonton) and whomever the GOP nominates to fill the open seat of Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township).  Carroll is leaving the legislature after 24 years to run for Morris County Surrogate.

So far, the only women in the race on the Republican side is Morristown councilwoman Alison Deeb.

Aura Dunn, a former district director to Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, is reportedly considering an Assembly bid.  Mendham Township Committeewoman Sarah Neibart is also a potential candidate.

The other announced candidates are Denville councilman Brian Bergen and attorney John Barbarula.

Likely contenders for Wolfe’s seat are Brick Republican Club president John Catalano, Point Pleasant Beach mayor Stephen Reid, and Manchester mayor Kenneth Palmer.

Some Republicans have also mentioned former Brick councilwoman Ruth Anne Scaturro for the seat.

D’Arcy Rohan Green, who spent ten years as a Bay Head councilwoman, says she might be interested in seeking the open Assembly seat.

Rohan Green said that she would like to see the barrier islands have some representation in the legislature.

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