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State Senator Michael Testa, Jr.
State Sen. Michael Testa. (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe).

Testa rejoins Senate Judiciary Committee following Doherty’s departure

Cumberland senator served on powerful committee until this year

By Joey Fox, December 19 2022 12:11 pm

With the departure of State Sen. Michael Doherty (R-Oxford) to become Warren County Surrogate, State Sen. Michael Testa (R-Vineland) has taken his seat on the powerful Senate Judiciary Committee, where he previously served until this year.

The committee, which votes on every gubernatorial nominee requiring legislative confirmation, is regarded as one of the two most powerful in the Senate alongside the Budget and Appropriations Committee. Democrats on the committee have a significant numerical advantage, but Republican members still have the ability to express their concerns and subject nominees to intense questioning.

But despite the valuable nature of the seat, which Testa will hold on a permanent basis, the Cumberland County senator said that there wasn’t much jockeying for it.

“If there was competition, I’m not aware of it,” he said.

Testa, a rising star in his party who was first elected in 2019, departed the committee at the beginning of year following a broader leadership shuffle; State Sens. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) and Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) replaced him and former State Sen. Kip Bateman (R-Branchburg).

Doherty was also the Judiciary Committee’s ranking member, a role that will now be filled by State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa), the longest-serving Republican on the committee.

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