Long-languishing State Sen.-elect Vince Polistina (R-Egg Harbor) was finally sworn in as a full state senator today, giving Atlantic County’s 2nd legislative district representation in the Senate for the first time since July.
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In August, Polistina was selected at a Republican convention to replace former State Sen. Chris Brown (R-Ventnor), who left for a position in Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration the month before; Polistina was already the Republican nominee for the seat in the regularly scheduled election.
But because the legislature had left for recess and didn’t plan on reconvening until after the election, Polistina was stuck in limbo as a senator-elect. Polistina and state Republicans argued that Democrats refrained from formally swearing him in to eliminate a potential advantage over Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) in a competitive race for the seat.
Incumbency or no, Polistina beat Mazzeo last Tuesday, and Senate Democrats could no longer dodge swearing him in as the legislature convened for the lame duck session today.
Polistina said after he was sworn in that, in spite of the long wait, he doesn’t plan on lingering on his struggles getting to this point.
“I’m just happy to be here and get the official swearing in done,” he said. “And now we’re able to get the legislative district office and start helping people out in the district.”
He added that he’s excited by the victories Atlantic County Republicans experienced on election night, and the good performance by Republicans across the state in general.
“The Republican voters certainly came out to vote, and I think it was a great victory for us,” Polistina said. “The whole legislative team won along with county officeholders – it was just a great day for us, and I think we’re going to do great things for the people.”