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State Sen. Vin Gopal. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Scutari to name Gopal as Senate Education Committee chairman

Monmouth County senator will head one of the legislature’s most influential committees

By David Wildstein, December 30 2021 8:11 am

State Sen. Vin Gopal (D-Long Branch)  is slated to become the new chairman of the Senate Education Committee, catapulting him into one of the most powerful chairmanships in Trenton when the legislature reorganizes next month.

Gopal is the choice of incoming Senate President Nicholas Scutari to succeed Teresa Ruiz (D-Newark), who will serve as Senate Majority Leader in the next session, the New Jersey Globe has learned.

The 36-year-old Monmouth County Democrat has enjoyed a meteoric rise since ousting three-term GOP State Sen. Jennifer Beck (R-Red Bank) in 2017.  As a freshman senator, he chaired the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee, and joined the leadership team as Majority Conference Leader.  He will remain in the latter position next year. 

Gopal is a staunch ally of Scutari.

In his bid for a second term this year, Gopal had the endorsement of the New Jersey Education Association, the state’s largest public employee union.   The NJEA did not endorse Ruz, who ran unopposed for her 29th district seat.

Scutari has not yet announced his pick to chair the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. 

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