Burlington Democrats are screening candidates in the politically competitive 8th legislative district, where they are expected to make another bid to flip seats in a district that Joe Biden won by five percentage points but Gov. Phil Murphy lost by nine points two years ago.
Evesham Councilwoman Heather Cooper will screen for the open State Senate seat of Jean Stanfield (R-Westhampton), who is not running for a second term.
Chesterfield Democratic Municipal Chair Andrea Katz, and Anthony Angelozzi, a Hammonton High School teacher and the president of the Hammonton Education Association, will seek party support to take on Assemblyman Michael Torrissi, Jr. (R-Hammonton) and Brandon Umba (R-Medford).
A third Assembly candidate, former Lumberton Deputy Mayor Rue Ryan, decided this afternoon not to run for the Assembly.
Katz is a former school board member and the communications director of the Fair Funding Action Committee, a bipartisan grassroots group that advocates for increased school funding.
For Stanfield’s Senate seat, Republicans are running Latham Tiver, a former Burlington County freeholder and International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 official.
Cooper is a former deputy mayor and the Burlington County Democratic vice chair.
Democrats made a serious play for the 8th district in 2017, 2019, and 2021, but have not won the district since 1973.
Still, Democrats held the Senate seat for nearly three years after State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) switched parties in early 2019. Stanfield unseated her, 51%-49%, in 2021.
There is no vote expected by the screening committee. Burlington County Democrats have their convention scheduled for March 16.