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Lt. Governor Sheila Oliver. Photo by Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe

Oliver on Bucco: I ran two races too

Lt. Gov. sought Assembly re-election as Murphy’s running mate

By Nikita Biryukov, September 27 2019 4:16 pm

Lt. Gov. Sheila Oliver was reluctant to say whether Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco should pick a run for either State Senate or Assembly instead of doing both, citing her own dual candidacy in 2017.

“That’s hard for me to respond to because I was on the ballot twice as both the lieutenant governor and assembly person,” Oliver said when asked if Bucco should pick one seat over the other “It’s hard for me to say what choice he should make, but I’m thinking that him remaining on the ballot in the Assembly is but Morris County-level politics, and I suspect that at the end of the day he will choose to remain a senator.”

Sources have told the New Jersey Globe as much.

Should he win his Assembly race against Lisa Bhimani and Darcy Draeger, the district’s Democratic candidates, Bucco is expected to decline the seat and trigger a special election.

But, unlike Oliver, Bucco will have likely ascended to the Senate weeks before November’s election.

A special convention to fill the Senate seat left vacant by the death of State Sen. Anthony R. Bucco is set to take place on Oct. 15.

Insiders have told the New Jersey Globe that the seat is his if he wants it, and he’s said he does.

Still, when voters elected re-elected Oliver in 2017, they actually electing a different Democrat.

Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake won the convention to fill Oliver’s seat, and Oliver appeared to see the two races as parallels.

“He’s going on the ballot, so when there’s an election, after they elect him in November — if that’s what happens, then it’s his party that has to make the decision about who’s going to take his seat,” Oliver said. “That happened with me when I vacated my Assembly seat.”

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