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State Sen. Fred Madden. (Photo: New Jersey Senate Majority Office).

Madden: ‘I have full intentions on running again’

By Joey Fox, December 06 2021 1:21 pm

State Sen Fred Madden (D-Washington Township), belying various rumors that he may not run for re-election in 2023, said today that he plans to run again, although he added that he takes such decisions “one term at a time.”

“I still have an interest in serving, and I feel it’s still a privilege,” Madden said. “As of right now, I have full intentions on running again.”

The 67-year-old Madden added that, unlike some of his colleagues, he doesn’t necessarily want to serve for the rest of his life.

“There are people here who will say, ‘I plan on being here as long as I can,’” he said. “I will not be here as long as some of these legislators, I can tell you that.”

Madden has been dogged by rumors he won’t run again throughout his nearly two-decade career in the Senate. Some sources have claimed that Madden wants to retire but has been dissuaded from doing so, which he categorically denied.

This cycle, rumors of retirement have been accentuated by redistricting, which may reshape Madden’s district and add soon-to-be former Assemblyman John Burzichelli’s hometown of Paulsboro so that Burzichelli could become Madden’s heir apparent. Depending on the district lines, Burzichelli could also take on State Sen.-elect Ed Durr (R-Swedesboro), who shockingly ousted Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) last month.

Madden was re-elected last month by 6,184 votes against Republican Stephen Pakradooni, Jr., 54%-46%, the tightest re-election contest of his career.  He lost the Gloucester County portion of the 4th legislative district by 1,727 votes, but carried the Camden County section by 7,911.

A former acting New Jersey State Police Superintendent, Madden entered politics in 2003 when he defeated Republican State Sen. George Geist (R-Gloucester Township) by just 63 votes out of more than 41,000 cast.  Geist had served as Camden County GOP chairman before winning a State Assembly seat in 1991 and had moved up to the Senate in early 2003 after Republican John Matheussen (R-Washington Township) resigned to become executive director of the Delaware River Port Authority.

The Madden/Geist Senate race was the most expensive in state history until Sweeney’s 2017 re-election campaign.

Madden is also the Gloucester County Democratic chairman.

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