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State Sen. Kip Bateman. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Bateman intends to seek re-election regardless of whether lines are redrawn

Senator won’t rule out backing amendment allowing state to delay reapportionment

By Nikita Biryukov, July 06 2020 4:55 pm

State Sen. Kip Bateman said he intends to seek re-election regardless of whether the state redraws district lines next year.

“Well, at this point, I’m seeking re-election, and we have to wait and see,” he told the New Jersey Globe.

On Monday, the New Jersey Globe reported that Democratic leaders in both chambers of the legislature were backing a constitutional amendment that would delay redistricting until 2023 if the Census Bureau does not provide New Jersey with its counts by Feb. 15 of next year.

Bateman said his thinking might be complicated somewhat if the measure secures the 60% majorities in both chambers needed to get onto the November ballot.

“Obviously, that may come into my decision-making process, but I was able to win in that district last election in 2017,” he said. “I worked hard. I’ve gotten to know more people in the district. No question it would be a tough election, but I have to wait and see.”

Bateman won a re-election by just 574 votes in 2017, eking out a victory by less than a single point.

Assemblymen Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick) and Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough), who have both declined to rule out running for Bateman’s seat next year, won both of the district’s lower chamber seats that year, and they won re-election without much trouble in 2019.

Bateman wouldn’t rule out voting to pass the amendment, which would still need to be approved by New Jersey voters.

“I have to see it,” he said. “This is the first that I’ve heard about it, so I want to talk to some people. I want to read it and see what it’s all about before I commit to supporting it or not supporting it.”

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