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State Sen. Jean Stanfield. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Stanfield won’t seek re-election to State Senate seat

Freshman Republican retiring after one term

By David Wildstein, January 11 2023 3:35 pm

State Sen. Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton) will not seek re-election to a second term this year, setting up a race for an open seat in one of the state’s most competitive legislative districts.

“Serving the public is not a job that should be taken lightly. It requires commitment and willingness to help every resident who needs it,” Stanfield stated. “Unfortunately, between recent health events and wanting to spend more time with my amazing family, I don’t feel as if I can dedicate the energy and time needed for another four years of service.”

Possible Republican candidates to seek the 8th Senate seat include Assemblymen Brandon Umba (R-Medford) and Michael Torrissi, Jr. (R-Hammonton), former Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport), former Burlington County Freeholder and Operating Engineers Local 825 official Latham Tiver, and Burlington County Republican Chairman Sean Earlen.

“I’ve had a long career where I’ve met thousands of amazing people.  Most of my adult life has been dedicated to public service, and I’ll be forever grateful to have those opportunities and to the people who helped me along the way,” Stanfield said.  “This will be my last year in public office. It’s time to see what else life has in store.”

The 8th district became slightly more Republican after legislative redistricting.  GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli won 52.8% under the old map and 54.1% under the new map that takes effect with this year’s legislative races.

While the Burlington-based 8th has been hugely competitive over the last three cycles, Democrats have not won the district since John Sweeney (D-Florence) captured an Assembly seat in the 1973 Watergate

Earlen praised Stanfield’s service.

“There isn’t a more genuine person I’ve ever met than Jean Stanfield . She’s been the North Star of the Burlington County Republican Party for decades – someone we could always rely on to point us in the right direction,” said Earlen, a former Lumberton mayor. “Unfortunately, Jean felt that next year will be her time to step aside and let someone else serve.  It’s fitting to her personality that she would retire before allowing herself to give anything less than 100 percent to the people of this state.”

The 65-year-old lawmaker is believed to be the only great-grandmother to serve in the New Jersey Legislature.

Stanfield served as Burlington County sheriff for eighteen years before winning a State Assembly seat in 2019.   She ousted incumbent Joseph Howarth (R-Evesham in the GOP primary by 2,691 votes, and then won an expensive general election by 1,155 votes.

In 2021, Stanfield ousted incumbent State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham), who had switched parties in 2019, by 1,721 votes, 51%-49%.

After more than 25 years in public office – she is a former assistant prosecutor and undersheriff, Stanfield said she was proud of her accomplishments, including programs to combat human trafficking and enhanced service for senior and veterans.

“Senator Stanfield is the best mentor a freshman legislator could hope to have. But well before getting to serve under her as an assemblyman, she was a friend and the brightest example of what a public servant should be,” said Umba.  “She spent her entire career with one goal in mind – helping people in need.”

Torrissi also paid tribute to his running mate.

“I love Jean.  I’ll always be thankful for the time I got to serve with her. She makes you a better person just by being around her because the last person you would ever want to let down is Jean Stanfield,” he said.  “Every elected official could learn a thing or two about the way she carries herself.”

Stanfield becomes the third senator to retire so far this cycle, along with Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen) and Christopher Connors (R-Lacey).

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