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Assemblywoman Mila Jasey. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Jasey says she’s ‘definitely’ running again in reshaped district

Assemblywoman’s home of South Orange is now in a Newark-based seat

By Joey Fox, May 19 2022 5:21 pm

Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange), whose hometown was put into a very different district by the Legislative Apportionment Commission earlier this year, said today that she “definitely” intends on running for re-election in 2023.

Jasey’s current 27th district is a largely suburban seat that includes Essex County suburbs like West Orange, Livingston, and parts of Morris County; her new district, the 28th, instead heads east to take in parts of Newark as well as Irvington and Hillside. That means Jasey, who is Black, will go from representing a 60% white constituency to a 72% Black one.

“The new district is a surprise, but it’s actually a lot like the first district that I represented,” Jasey said. “As a matter of fact, I met with Dahlia Vertreese, who is the mayor of Hillside, for about two hours yesterday.”

Jasey currently serves alongside former Gov. and State Sen. Richard Codey (D-Roseland) and Assemblyman John McKeon (D-West Orange), but both of their hometowns remained in the 27th district. Her new partners in the 28th district will instead be two Newark politicians, State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark) and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark), assuming both run for re-election.

On both the initial Republican and Democratic proposals for the legislative map, Codey, McKeon, and Jasey all remained together in a plurality-Black 27th district that included Irvington and Hillside but not Newark, which would have made Jasey the favorite for Codey’s Senate seat if he ever retired. But put in a Newark-based district by the final compromise map, it’s far less likely Jasey can make the leap from the lower chamber.

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