Nearly two years after she switched parties, State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) is preparing to announce her fid for re-election to a fifth term in the 8th district Senate seat.
“Dawn Addiego is going to stand for re-election, and I’m going to do everything I can to help her,” seat State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Delran), who represents he next door 7th.
Republicans want the Senate seat back and are targeting Addiego as their most likely pickup in 2021, although the field of candidates has not yet settled out.
Possible challengers include Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport), Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield (R-Westhampton), Hammonton Councilman Michael Torrissi, Jr., former Burlington County Freeholder Latham Tiver, and former Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (R-Evesham).
At the time of her switch, there had been some talk of Addiego facing a Democratic primary challenger in 2021. That speculation has quieted down since January 2019.
Another high-profile party-switcher from South Jersey, Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis), was e-elected this year after 30 years as a Democratic officeholder. Republicans wound up embracing him, and enough Democrats still voted for him to give the congressman a second term.
The 8th has become politically competitive over the last few elections, but Democrats have not won a legislative race at the ballot box in this district since John Sweeney ousted Republican assemblyman Kenneth Wilkie in the Watergate landslide of that year. Two other Republican incumbents, State Sen. Barry Parker and Assemblyman Clifford Snedeker still won.
In 2017, Addiego defeated Democrat George Youngkin by 2,637 votes, 52% to 48%.
Peters and Stanfield won against a well-funded bid to defeat them last year.
The 8th now has 9,523 more Democrats than Republicans. That’s up from 4,184 when the district lines were drawn in 2011.
Addiego’s switch blocked Sweeney’s lock on the Senate Democratic caucus.
“As gridlock in Washington dominates the news, it has become increasingly clear that in order to effect change you have to be part of the discussion and not on the outside looking in,” Addiego said in an a statement announcing her switch to the Democratic Party. “The people of the 8th district did not elect me to be content in the role of loyal opposition.”
Addiego said that her support for Sweeney’s agenda played a major role in her decision to switch parties.