Democrats in Burlington and Atlantic counties have picked Evesham Councilwoman Heather Cooper to run for the open 8th district State Senate seat being vacated by Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton), who is leaving the legislature after two years in the Senate and two in the Assembly.
Cooper is expected to face Republican Latham Tiver, a former Burlington County freeholder and an official with the International Union of Operating Engineers Local 825.
The selection of Cooper ends speculation that former Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Ron Jaworski would run for the Senate.
Against two freshman Republican assemblymen, Michael Torrissi, Jr. (R-Hammonton) and Brandon Umba (R-Medford), Democrats have picked Chesterfield Democratic Municipal Chair Andrea and Hammonton Education Association President Anthony Angelozzi, as their candidates.
“As a lifelong resident of Burlington County, I know the challenges that we are facing with the growing affordability crisis in our communities,” said Cooper. “Our local businesses need our support, our working people need jobs that enable them to support their families, and everyone needs leadership that is engaged within the community and willing to take action. I am a visible, active partner to the people of Evesham, whom I serve and advocate for now, and I look forward to bringing that same accessibility and commitment to delivering results to the entire District at the State level.”
Katz has made her mark as an advocate for underfunded public schools.
“During my life, I’ve experienced hardships and understand personally how families need affordable healthcare, good public schools for their children, job opportunities, and smart public policy to address the affordability crisis we face,” said Katz. “As a mother of three turned public policy advocate, I know that meaningful change is possible. As a state lawmaker, I will be a problem solver bringing new ideas and fresh approaches to the State Capitol.”
A high school teacher, Angelozzi pledged to make education a cornerstone of his campaign for the Assembly.
“Education is foundational to American opportunity, a good education can help level the playing field and give our students their greatest chance to succeed,” he said. “I will be a strong voice for our children and understand that in order for them to flourish, now and in the future, they need to grow up in a thriving local economy where people aren’t just struggling to get by. We must help our small businesses and community farms so that they can continue to be the backbone of our communities, and help our families by creating job opportunities and working to lower the cost of living.”
The New Jersey Globe first reported that Cooper, Katz, and Angelozzi were seeking party support to run.
Joe Biden won by five percentage points, but Gov. Phil Murphy lost by nine points two years ago. 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.