Assemblymen Joseph Egan (D-New Brunswick) and Joe Danielsen (D-Franklin) won’t get the party nomination for free this year.
The two incumbents are being challenged by Ron Rivers, a small businessman who is running off the line in an effort to win one of the district’s two Assembly seats.
Rivers, 34, was Gov. Phil Murphy’s guest at the State of the State address in January.
The CEO of North a home-brewing supply company and $15-per-hour minimum wage advocate, is the executive director of OurSociety, a 501(c)(3) non-profit that seeks to remove financial barriers associated with seeking public office.
“This campaign isn’t about politics; it’s about direction. I never imagined I’d be running for office, but it’s clear that New Jersey needs representation that is technologically savvy, highly engaged, transparent, and creative to navigate our uncertain future,” Rivers said. “Let’s use democracy as it was intended, to build a society that works for all of us.”
Rivers filed his nominating petitions early Thursday afternoon.
Republicans last held an Assembly seat in the 17th in 1985, when Angela Perun defected from the Democratic party. The GOP hasn’t won an election there since the state adopted the 40-district map in 1973.