Assembly Speaker Craig Coughlin will need to name a new chairman of the Assembly Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts Committee after Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) resigns, probably as early as next month, to join the Board of Directors of Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey.
The committee vice chair is Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken), a lame-duck assemblywoman who is not seeking re-election.
The other Democrats on the panel are unlikely contenders to succeed Coughlin: James Kennedy (D-Rahway) chairs the Environment and Solid Waste Committee, and few legislators view freshman William Sampson IV (D-Bayonne), who recently lost his license as a crane operator because of the demand of his legislative workload, as ready to lead a committee.
If Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York) wins her race for West New York Town Commissioner in May, she would vacate her Assembly Human Services Committee chair in July. Sampson is also on that committee, along with another freshman, Reginald Atkins (D-Roselle). Kennedy is also on that committee.
Retirements will open up a number of Assembly committee chairmanships next year if Democrats retain their majority: Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange), Commerce and Economic Development; Mila Jasey (D-South Orange), Higher Education; Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City), Judiciary; and Dan Benson (D-Hamilton), Transportation and Independent Authorities.