Home>Campaigns>Codey has 56-1 cash edge over Gill in Democratic Senate primary

Senator Richard J. Codey at the State of the State address before a joint session of the New Jersey Legislature on January 10, 2023. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Codey has 56-1 cash edge over Gill in Democratic Senate primary

Redistricting put two veteran Democratic senators with a combined 80 years in Trenton into the same district

By David Wildstein, January 25 2023 3:26 pm

In a potential Democratic primary fight between two incumbents, Richard J. Codey (D-Roseland) has a Gottheimeresque fundraising edge over Nia Gill (D-Montclair).

Legislative redistricting put the two veteran senators into the 27th district.

A former Governor, Codey has $786,729 cash-on-hand after raising $10,849 during the fourth quarter of 2022.

Gill has $13,971 in her campaign account after raising nothing in the final quarter of last year and just $1,200 in all of 2022.

While Codey has made it clear that he intends on running for re-election to a fourteenth term and is the heavy favorite to get the Essex County Democratic organization line, Gill has not declared her intentions.  She and Codey had been allies in the Senate and sided with Codey when Steve Sweeney sought to oust him as Senate President in 2009.

But Gill is widely viewed as aloof and tough to read, so it’s not clear if she will quietly walk away or file petitions to mount an uphill primary fight.  She followed through with a run for Senate President against Nicholas Scutari last year even though she had just two votes, including her own.

Assemblyman John McKeon (D-West Orange), the 64-year-old Prince Charles of Essex County – he’s been waiting 20 years for a chance to move up to the Senate – has refused to rule out challenging Codey and Gill in the primary.    He has $372,594 cash-on-hand after raising $57,830 in 2022.

Codey is in his 50th year in the New Jersey Legislature.  He was elected to the Assembly in 1973, at age 26, and moved up to the Senate in 1981.  He is the longest-serving legislator in New Jersey history.

Gill, who is just two years younger than Codey, won an Assembly seat in 1993 and then moved up to the Senate eight years later when redistricting moved Montclair into a new solidly Democratic district with a Republican senator, Norman Robertson (R-Clifton).

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