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Hammonton Councilman Michael Torrissi, Jr. (Photo: Michael Torrissi, Jr.)

Burlington GOP backs Torrissi, Umba for Assembly in 8th district

Two open GOP seats is Democrats best chance to enhance Assembly majority

By David Wildstein, March 13 2021 11:10 am

Burlington County Republicans have picked Hammonton Councilman Michael Torrissi and Lumberton Township Administrator Brandon Umba as their candidates for two open State Assembly seats in the heavily competitive 8th legislative district.

The GOP currently holds both seats in a district that presents the best chance for New Jersey Democrats to increase their already large majority in the State Assembly.

Both incumbents will not be on the ballot.

Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) is not seeking re-election to a third term, and Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton) is running for the State Senate.

The incumbent senator, Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham), is a former Republican who switched parties in 2019 and is now seeking re-election to  fourth term as a Democrat in a district her party hasn’t won since 1973.

Umba, a former aide to Rep. Jon Runyan and political director of the Burlington County Republicans, was picked at former Freeholder Latham Tiver changed his mind about running and Chuck Watson decided to seek re-election as the mayor of Medford. 

Atlantic and Camden counties are expected to ratify the picks in a district that mostly sits in Burlington, 

Democrats have not announced their Assembly candidates 

Tiver committed to running in January, but speculation that he might withdraw has been around for more than a month.

While the decision not to run was his, Tiver’s day job as an International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825 business representative – and their desire to avoid a fight with Senate President Steve Sweeney in the 8th district – might have played into his final determination.

Democrats might have adeptly removed the strongest candidate from the race.

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