The likely ascent of Nancy Pinkin to the Middlesex County Clerk’s post sets up a January 2021 race to fill the remaining 54 weeks of her term in the New Jersey State Assembly.
The choice will be made by Democratic county committee members in the 18th legislative district.
The 18th has the largest Asian American population in the state.
Possible candidates to replace Pinkin in the Assembly include East Brunswick councilman Sterley Stanley, Highland Park councilwoman Elsie Foster-Dublin, and Edison councilmen Ajay Patil and Joseph Coyle.
Assemblyman Robert Karabinchak won the other 18th district Assembly seat in a 2016 special election after Patrick Diegnan moved up to the Senate following the confirmation of Peter Barnes III (D-Edison) to a Superior Court judgeship. Karabinchak is from Edison and Diegnan lives in South Plainfield.
There would be tremendous resistance to Edison getting a second Assembly seat from the other 18th district municipalities: East Brunswick, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen and South River.
Pinkin won the Middlesex County Democratic convention for the Assembly seat in 2013 when Barnes moved up to the Senate. The incumbent, Barbara Buono (D-Metuchen), was leaving the legislature to run for governor.
Pinkin defeated Karabinchak.
Karabinchak won his seat in a convention fight against Foster-Dublin, then-Edison councilwoman Sapana Shah, and former South River councilman Matt Vaughn.