Sen. Steve Oroho was taken aback by Sen. Dawn Addiego’s switching to the Democratic Party, though he wasn’t inclined to hold a grudge over that.
“Dawn’s always been a good friend of mine, that doesn’t change. It’s all about relationships down here. Dawn and I will always have a very good relationship,” Oroho said, adding that he hadn’t had time to digest the news yet. “This, with changes in her district or something, who knows what it could have been. Only Dawn can answer that.”
Addiego’s district, and Burlington County as a whole, has grown more Democratic since Addiego first took office. The County delivered Democrats the third congressional district’s House seat they had lost in 2010.
Though, Addiego cited her support of Senate President Steve Sweeney’s policy positions as a major factor in her switching her affiliation.
“I know she’s always very committed to her constituents, she’s always very professional, and I’m sure our relationship will always continue to be very friendly, cordial, professional,” Oroho said. “I’m just shocked.”
Addiego’s departure leaves a hole in Trenton’s GOP leadership. She was deputy minority whip and the only woman among Republican leadership team.
Her switch leaves Sen. Kristin Corrado as the only woman in the Republican Senate Caucus. It’s possible Corrado, whose political stock has risen sharply as a result of her role on the Select Committee on Oversight.
But, it’s too early to tell who Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean and other members of Republican leadership will choose to replace Addiego.
“I hadn’t thought of it yet,” Oroho said when asked about what effect Addiego’s departure would have on the GOP leadership structure. “The leadership, we’ll talk about it, and between Sen. Kean and myself and Sen. [Tony] Bucco and Sen. [Robert] Singer and Sen. [Joe] Pennacchio, Sen. [Chris] Brown, we’ll have somebody else come in to be in that leadership role.”