The announcement that Patricia Egan Jones (D-Barrington) will retire at the end of her current term brings the total number of Assembly incumbents not seeking re-election to four.
The filing deadline for the June primary is April 1.
Three Republicans: David Wolfe (R-Brick), Amy Handlin (R-Middletown) and Michael Patrick Carroll (R-Morris Township) are not seeking re-election.
Brick Republican Club president John Catalano is the front-runner to fill Wolfe’s 9th district seat. In the 13th district, Monmouth County freeholder Gerald Scharfenberger is the leading candidate to replace Handlin.
Carroll is stepping down after twelve terms as an assemblyman to run for Morris County Surrogate. His 25th district seat is expected to be highly competitive in the general election. Incumbent Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton), who just narrowly won re-election in 2017, is seeking his sixth term in the Assembly.
The Republicans seeking Carroll’s seat: Denville councilman Brian Bergen, a West Point graduate and Army helicopter pilot; Aura Dunn, a former district director to Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen; and special assistant county counsel John Barbarula.
Morris County Democratic vice chair Lisa Bhimani and Chester Democratic municipal chair Darcy Draeger are expected to face the winners of the GOP primary.
Jones’s 5th district seat is safe Democratic.
Joseph Howarth (R-Evesham), has lost party support for a third term in the Assembly. He has pledged to run off the line to keep his seat.