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State Sen. Michael Testa, center, being sworn in by Senate President Steve Sweeney. (Photo: Nikita Biryukov for the New Jersey Globe)

Testa sworn in

Cumberland County GOP chairman takes Senate seat

By Nikita Biryukov, December 05 2019 12:24 pm

State Sen. Michael Testa was sworn into office Thursday.

“It is just so awesome to be in this room where history has been made in the greatest state in the greatest country the world has ever known,” Testa said. “I’m going to humbly serve each and every one of you.”

Testa, who is Cumberland County Republican Chairman, defeated State Sen. Bob Andrzejczak in the state’s only senate race this year, becoming the first Republican to claim a Democrat-held Senate seat in 12 years.

Testa’s Assembly running mates, Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen, defeated incumbent Assemblymen Bruce Land and Matt Milam. They’ll be sworn in along with a handful of the chamber’s new members in early January.

The freshman state senator struck a decidedly bipartisan tone in his first speech from the Senate floor, saying he would work with Senate President Steve Sweeney for the good of the first legislative district.

“The election’s over, so now we have to get work done,” the 43-year-old defense attorney said. “I’ve had some great discussions already with Senate president Sweeney. I intend to fight for South Jersey. I believe South Jersey has been forgotten for way too long, and I know Senate President Sweeney and I are going to be partners in that fight so that South Jersey gets the just desserts.”

Sweeney, who presided over the new senator’s swearing in, returned the favor in kind.

“Welcome, Sen. Testa to the chamber. We have some very big responsibilities here, and you have a beautiful young family, and I know you want to make the state better for them, so I want to congratulate you, wish you the best,” the Senate President said. “When the elections are over, they’re over. It’s time for us to go to work, because we have to ensure that we make New Jersey a better state.”

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