State Sen. Dawn Addiego’s announcement that she is switching to the Democratic Party means that Burlington will have only Democratic Senators for the first time since 1963.
From 1998 until January 2018, Burlington was represented by Republican Senators – Diane Allen in the 7th and Martha Bark, Phil Haines and Addiego in the 8th.
Now Addiego will serve alongside State Sen. Troy Singleton, who won the Senate seat by 20 percentage points when Allen retired in 2017.
Addiego was the lone Republican with senatorial courtesy in Camden County, albeit in just one town, Waterford.
Republicans no longer have courtesy in Burlington.
Democrat James Davis won a Senate seat in 1948 against Republican Albert McCay. McCay ousted Davis in 1951, and then lost it to Democrat Henry Haines in 1959. Republican Edwin Forsythe captured the seat in 1963 when Haines retired.
Forsythe’s election to Congress in 1970 was followed by Burlington getting two Senate seats for the first time in 1971. Republican Barry Parker, a former Assembly Speaker and McCay’s law partner, won one of the seats; Democrat Edward Hughes won the other, ousting Forsythe’s successor, Walter Smith, by 1,463 votes.
Parker served remained in the Senate until running for the Republican gubernatorial nomination in 1981. His successors were all Republicans: Assemblyman Jim Saxton replaced him in the Senate, and Assemblyman William Haines got the seat when Saxton replaced Forsythe in Congress. Haines died in 1996 and was replaced by Martha Bark. Bark’s seat went to Phil Haines in 2007, and to Addiego when Haines left to become a Superior Court judge.
The other seat was in Democratic hands until Allen’s election.
Hughes was re-elected in 1973 but lost the Democratic primary four years later to Assemblyman Charles Yates. Yates retired in 1981 and was replaced by Assemblyman Herman Costello; Costello served just one term before Assemblywoman Catherine Costa took the seat in 1983. After Costa resigned in 1990 to become director of the state Alcoholic Beverage Commission, the seat, Assemblyman Thomas Foy went to Senate.
The 7th district went Republican in the 1991 Republican landslide after Burlington County freeholder Bradford Smith ousted Foy. Smith lost to Casey in 1993, and Allen, a first-term assemblywoman, won the seat after Casey stepped down in 1997.