Nicholas Scutari will run unopposed for Senate President in a Democratic caucus meeting set for 11 AM on Friday, the New Jersey Globe has learned.
Nia Gill, who had announced a challenge to Scutari last week, has decided not to run in today’s election. Instead, she will challenge Scutari in a vote of the full Senate on January 11.
Scutari locked up the votes to become the next Senate President on November 5, three days after Steve Sweeney lost re-election in his own district.
Only one other Senate Democrat, Ronald Rice, had committed to vote for Gill. Seven of the ten Democratic senators of color were committed to Scutari, the longtime Senate Judiciary Committee chairman.
Some Black and Latino activists had advocated for the election of a woman of color to serve as Senate President, a post that has been occupied only by white men.
The caucus is also expected to vote for Teresa Ruiz for majority leader and Sandra Cunningham for president pro-tempore.
Gill’s decision to seek the senate presidency at the January reorganization meeting mirrors a quixotic bid she mounted in 2004 to take on Senate President Richard Codey.