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State Sen. Renee Burgess after her special election convention victory in September 2022. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Burgess has ‘no preferences right now’ for Jasey’s seat

Jasey’s hometown put into Newark-based 28th district on new legislative map

By Joey Fox, February 09 2023 12:59 pm

With Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange) departing the Assembly after 16 years, brand-new State Sen. Renee Burgess (D-Irvington) is set to have a new candidate join her slate in the 28th legislative district. Asked today who she’d like to see take Jasey’s place, Burgess said that she had “no preferences right now” but that she hoped they would be as enthusiastic about serving the district as she is.

“I would be with whoever is qualified, whoever is about the community, whoever has the energy,” Burgess said. “I’m looking forward to having a good teammate, so we can go on and do what we have to do to improve our communities.”

Burgess and Jasey do not currently represent the same district; Burgess was elected at a special convention last year to the Newark-based 28th district, while Jasey has represented the more suburban 27th district since 2007. But on the state’s new legislative map, which will go into effect for the first time in this year’s elections, Jasey’s home of South Orange was put in the 28th district with Burgess and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark).

Jasey, the chairwoman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, had originally planned to run for re-election despite the major changes to her district – she told the New Jersey Globe so in May of last year – but ultimately decided this week that she was done.

“I’m happy for Assemblywoman Jasey, because she’s done an outstanding job in all the years she’s put into it, and I look forward to seeing what’s to come,” Burgess said today.

It’s not clear yet who top Essex Democrats will back for the Assembly instead, though it’s likely to be a candidate from Maplewood. Possible Maplewood candidates include Maplewood Township Committeewoman Jamaine Cripe, former Maplewood Mayor Frank McGehee, Deputy Essex County Clerk Garnet Hall, and former Maplewood Township Committeewoman India Larrier.

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