Assemblyman Parker Space (R-Wantage), who had announced his retirement from the Assembly early last year, has become the first Republican to enter the race for the open State Senate seat of Steve Oroho, who unexpectedly announced that he will not seek re-election this year.
“After considering the impact of the combined departure of Steve, Hal and myself, I’m troubled that the district will be left with no continuity of service so I am declaring myself a candidate for the open Senate seat for District 24,” Space said. “I know the tremendous service that our joint district office provides to the residents of the district and I think it’s very important for that to continue.”
One of the legislature’s most conservative members, the 54-year-old Space won a special election convention for State Assembly in 2013 after spending three years as a Sussex County freeholder. His wife, Jill, was elected county commissioner last year.
“Governor Murphy and Trenton Democrats have pursued a very progressive agenda that has made life more expensive for New Jerseyans, trampled on the rights of parents to make the best educational decisions for their children, usurped the constitutional rights of Second Amendment supporters, passed extreme abortion measures that allow for abortion up until birth and slammed businesses with their excessive lockdowns which I especially relate to as a small business owner myself. State residents deserve much better,” Space said. “I’m going to work hard to demonstrate to the voters how putting Republicans in charge in Trenton will be a real difference maker.”
Space praised Oroho’s tenure in the legislature.
“ I respect his decision as I know it must not have been an easy one,” stated Space. “Steve has enormous respect in Trenton and throughout District 24, and especially our home county of Sussex. He leaves very big shoes to fill.”
Space has been controversial from time to time. He has a confederate flag tattoo on his arm and has used the confederate flag image in social media posts.
During his 2017 re-election campaign, a recording surfaced of his calling his Democratic opponent, Kate Matteson, an “elitist one percenter, an elitist who’s a bitch”