Democrat Emma Mammano, a mental health counselor and stay-at-home parent, will challenge State Sen. James Holzapfel (R-Toms River) in the 10th legislative district.
This is Mammano’s second bid to unseat Holzapfel. In 2017, Holzapfel defeated Mammano by 15,848 votes, 63%-37%.
A commissioner of the Brick Housing Authority, Mammano served as president of the Ocean County Democratic Women’s Caucus for two years.
Mammano claims that Holzapfel has not been effective.
“Although the incumbent has been a state legislator for 27 years, not many people could cite actions he’s taken to tangibly improve their lives,” Mammano said.
Ocean County has not elected a Democratic State Senator since 1987, when John F. Russo (D-Toms River) was re-elected to a fifth term. Russo won his seat in the 1973 Democratic Watergate landslide.
Republicans flipped the seat in 1991 after Russo, a former Senate president and gubernatorial candidate, retired. Brick Councilman Andrew Ciesla defeated nine-term Assemblyman John Paul Doyle (D-Toms River) by a 62%-38% margin
The 76-year-old Holzapfel, a former assemblyman and Ocean County Prosecutor, moved to the Senate after Ciesla retired in 2011.