Hopewell Township Committeeman Tom Tedesco will seek the Republican nomination for State Assembly in the 3rd district on a ticket with State Sen. Edward Durr (R-Logan) and Assemblywoman Bethanne McCarthy Patrick (R-Mannington).
The freshman senator made the announcement of his slate at GOP breakfasts in Cumberland and Gloucester counties today.
Durr faces a primary challenge from Salem County Commissioner Mickey Ostrum, who is running with Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (R-Woolwich) and former Harrison Township Committeeman Adam Wingate.
Tedesco, 57, was elected to the Hopewell Township Committee in 2021. He owns his own engineering firm and serves as the municipal engineer in Downe and Oldmans townships.
Durr made national news in 2021 when he upset Senate President Steve Sweeney, one of the most powerful legislative leaders in the nation and a six-term legislator, in the Gloucester-Salem-Cumberland district with little money. Two veteran Democratic assemblymen lost their seats to Sawyer and McCarthy Patrick.
But the truck driver-turned-senator has feuded with some party leaders and with Sawyer, who helped organize a rival ticket.
The two slates must compete for organization lines at party conventions in Cumberland and Salem, and in a screening committee in Gloucester.
Democrats have not yet announced their candidates. Powerbroker George Norcross wants Sweeney to run again; already an announced candidate for the Democratic nomination for governor in 2025, Sweeney isn’t sure he wants to spend this year trying to reclaim his Senate seat, especially since he’s unlikely to return to his leadership post. Sweeney can explain his loss to Durr as a fluke, but losing twice would be an extraordinary setback for his statewide ambitions.
Hopewell is a solidly Republican small town in Cumberland County. Tedesco defeated Democrat Dennis Gaggini two years ago by a wide margin, 1,078 to 423, after running unopposed in the primary. The GOP incumbent, Joseph Shoemaker, did not seek re-election.
If Tedesco wins, he would be the first Republican assemblyman from Cumberland County since Samuel Fiocchi (R-Vineland) lost his seat in 2015 after one term.