In this year’s state legislative elections, perhaps no district is more important than the 4th, a highly competitive South Jersey district where Republicans are looking to make gains. But with just 11 days to go until the filing deadline, 4th district Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester Township) had no comment today on her intention to seek re-election.
“You caught me off guard,” Mosquera said when asked about her plans in the halls of the legislature. “I don’t know.”
Last week, the New Jersey Globe reported that State Sen. Fred Madden (D-Washington), Mosquera’s longtime running mate, would not run again. There has been some speculation that Mosquera, now in her sixth term in the Assembly, would retire alongside him rather than face the toughest election of her career in a district that voted for Jack Ciattarelli by five points.
Of course, Mosquera could still run for re-election, and she could also theoretically run to replace Madden in the Senate, though that’s not considered likely. The district’s third representative, Assemblyman Paul Moriarty (D-Washington), is expected to run for re-election.
One factor in the Senate race that will be important for Democrats to consider is senatorial courtesy. Right now, Madden is the only Gloucester County Democrat in the Senate, meaning he (alongside State Sen. Ed Durr) gets veto power over any gubernatorial nominee from the entire county. If he were to be replaced by a politician from the Camden County side of the 4th district, South Jersey Democrats could lose that important piece of leverage, though they could always tell the new senator to move.
The fact that Democrats still haven’t worked out their slate in such a competitive district so close to the filing deadline is notable, but not hugely surprising. South Jersey Democrats are perhaps the most centralized party organization in the state, and they often prefer to keep candidate retirements and decisions under wraps until they can unveil their full ticket.
It’s not clear, then, whether Mosquera is personally undecided about whether to seek re-election – or whether party leaders haven’t decided what their plans are.
Republicans, on the other hand, have publicly settled on their likely slate in the 4th district. Gloucester County Commissioner Nick DeSilvio (R-Franklin), who first won his office in a 2021 upset, is the presumptive Republican candidate for Senate, and he’ll be joined by Assembly candidates Michael Clark and Denise Gonzalez.