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Kemani Scott. (Photo: Kemani Scott).

Rutgers student will seek Dancer’s Assembly seat

21-year-old Kemani Scott is the lone Democrat interested in running in 2022 special election

By David Wildstein, September 06 2022 2:45 pm

Kemani A. Scott, a 21-year-old Rutgers University junior, has emerged as the likely – and so far, only — Democratic candidate for State Assembly in the 12th legislative district

Scott would face Assemblyman-elect Alex Sauickie III (R-Jackson) in a special election to fill the unexpired term of Ronald Dancer (R-Plumsted), an 11-term lawmaker who died in July.

The son of Allentown Councilwoman Nicki Darling, Scott has worked as an intern in the offices of Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-Ewing), and State Sen. Troy Singleton (D-Delran).

If he wins, Scott will become the youngest assemblyman and in New Jersey history, and the youngest since 23-year-old Peter Shapiro (D-South Orange) won an Assembly seat in 1975 after his off-the-line primary challenge resulted in the ousting of a Democratic incumbent,

But Scott would enter the race as the underdog in a solidly Republican district against Sauickie, the Jackson council vice president and the winner of a special election convention to fill Dancer’s seat.   He defeated Plumsted Councilman Dominick Cuozzo in a landslide last month.

Last year, Republican gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli carried the 12th with 63% of the vote.  Dancer was re-elected in the same election by 8,749 votes.

The 12th district goes from Old Bridge in Middlesex County through western Monmouth County and includes Jackson and Plumsted in Ocean County and four small municipalities in Burlington.

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