Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) is mulling a Senate bid against his former running mate, State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham).
“While I haven’t yet made a decision, I would love to put my record up against Senator Addiego’s lack of conviction on any substantive matter,” Peters said. “For me, public service is about putting the needs of others before your own, not abandoning ship when the going gets tough.”
Addiego defected from the Republican party in January, giving Democrats a 26-member majority in the legislature’s upper chamber that has since dropped back down to 25.
The district’s third legislator, Assemblyman Joe Howarth, lost re-election in June after the Burlington County Republican organization pulled its support over a belief that he tried to join Addiego on the other side of the aisle.
Howarth has consistently denied attempting to switch, though Republican and Democratic sources have told the New Jersey Globe Howarth sought to jump ship but was thwarted by local Democrats in Burlington who said they would not back him in the year’s primaries.
“Senator Addiego left behind all 227,000 of her constituents because it was politically convenient for her own fading political career,” Peters said. “Moreover, she stabbed me in the back in the process and then ran two fake MAGA candidates against me, one in the Primary and another in the General.”
In an effort to keep his seat, Howarth made an off-the-line bid as a MAGA Republican but lost to Peters and his running mate, former Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield, who is now an assemblywoman-elect.
In the general, Peters and Stanfield faced challenges from Democrats Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale. They also faced an independent challenge from Tom Giangiulio Jr., who ran as a MAGA conservative.
While Addiego has previously told the New Jersey Globe she will seek another term in 2021, Peters said he doesn’t expect her to follow through.
“I think that rather than face the voters Senator Addiego will yet again turn tail and run,” he said. “She will step down later this year to take her 30 pieces of silver from the Camden Cartel. I’m expecting that she will do this in September so the Democrats can appoint someone to serve in her position until the term expires in 2021.”