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State Sen. Christopher "Kip" Bateman. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Former legislators sail through Senate Judiciary Committee

By Joey Fox, January 27 2022 12:58 pm

The Senate Judiciary Committee today advanced three of their former colleagues – former State Sen. Kip Bateman (R-Branchburg), former State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham), and former Assemblywoman Linda Stender (D-Fanwood) – by unanimous votes, clearing the way for the former legislators to be confirmed by the Senate during the next full voting session.

Bateman, the only one of the three to be interviewed by the committee, was nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy two weeks ago for a seat on the Board of Directors of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield. Prior to retiring this past year, Bateman represented the 16th Senate district for 14 years and served as an assemblyman, Somerset County freeholder, and Branchburg mayor before that.

“He’s one of the best senators we’ve ever had,” State Sen. Bob Smith (D-Piscataway) said during Bateman’s interview. “He left a real legacy for the state in the area of environmental law, and I’m sure he’s going to make a great contribution on the Blue Cross Blue Shield commission.” 

If Bateman is confirmed by the Senate, he will replace another former legislator, former State Sen. Joe Kyrillos (R-Middletown), who is remaining on the Horizon board but in a corporate role. Also serving on the board will be former Senate Majority Leader Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck), who was directly appointed earlier this month.

Neither Addiego, whom Murphy nominated to be Burlington County Supervisor of Elections after she lost re-election last year, nor Stender, who retired from her Union County seat in 2015 and is up for a seat on the New Jersey Historic Trust, were in attendance at today’s committee hearing. Nevertheless, the committee advanced both with no defectors.

The brief committee meeting also marked State Sen. Brain Stack (D-Union City)’s first time at the helm; former committee chair Nicholas Scutari (D-Linden) ascended to the Senate presidency this year, and passed the chairmanship to Stack.

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