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New Jersey Senate chambers in Trenton. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Sam Thompson switched parties, now he switches seats

By David Wildstein, February 23 2023 5:22 am

The New Jersey State Senate has adjusted its seating chart to accommodate Sam Thompson’s switch to the Democratic Party.

Thompson used to sit in the front row on the Republican side between Kristin Corrado and Bob Singer.  Now that he’s a Democrat, his seat was moved to the back row – still on the Republican side, but in the overflow section because there are too many Democrats in the Senate to occupy just a single side of the aisle.

Now Holly Schepisi has been moved to take Thompson’s front-row seat; her left-side aisle seat in the second row will now be occupied by Ed Durr.  Thompson moves to where Durr sat, in between Doug Steinhardt and Joe Cryan.

This is the second seating change in the Senate chamber since last fall when Ronald Rice retired after nearly 36 years as a senator.

Rice occupied a second-row seat, between Vin Gopal and Linda Greenstein.  Following Rice’s departure,  Joe Lagana moved from his right-side aisle seat to Rice’s spot.  Renee Burgess, who replaced Rice, now sits where Lagana did.

When Doug Steinhardt, who ranks 40th in seniority in the Senate, took office last December, he simply assumed the physical seat of his predecessor, Michael Doherty.

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