Laurie Poppe, the almost giant-slayer who came within a razor-thin 574 votes of winning a State Senate seat four years ago, is asking for another chance to run in the 16th legislative district.
Poppe, a Hillsborough attorney and therapist, has asked Democrats to consider her for another shot at the Senate, or for a State Assembly seat in a district that has trended heavily toward the Democrats in recent years.
The Republican who defeated her, Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg), announced last week that he would not seek re-election to a fifth term and would retire at the end of the current legislative session.
“I have been considering my options for some time and Senator Bateman’s retirement had no influence on my thought process one way or another,” Poppe said. “I wish Senator Bateman the very best.”
In a letter of intent filed with Somerset County Democrats, Poppe said that her 2017 Senate campaign demonstrated her “commitment to hard work, dedication to campaigning, and appreciation of the teamwork that is required of any candidate who has aspirations of success.”
“I also bring the lived experience of having been a candidate,” said Poppe.
Her former running mates, Assemblymen Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick) and Roy Freiman (D-Hillsborough), have also expressed interest in the open Senate seat.
It’s possible that the three 2017 candidates could wind up running together again, just in a different combination.
“In the event the (screening) committee endorses another candidate for Senate, I would appreciate it if the committee would then consider me as one of the candidates for Assembly,” Poppe said.
Poppe committed to abide by the decision of the Democratic screening committee in Somerset County.
“I would be thrilled to be selected as a candidate for LD-16, but in the event that I am not, I know that the Chairwoman and Committee are making the best selection for the success of the Democratic Party and I will fully support the Committee’s decision in all ways,” she said in her letter of intent.
Somerset County Democrats have not won a State Senate seat since 1902, but the 16th has trended so heavily Democratic in recent years that Republicans are the underdogs to retain the seat following Bateman’s retirement.
President Joe Biden carried the 16th district by 28,165 votes, 61%-38%,