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Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). (Photo: Gage Skidmore.)

Texas congressman with N.J. roots headlining Pappas fundraiser

Pete Sessions led a Bridgewater Boy Scout troop before moving back to Texas

By David Wildstein, May 14 2021 3:51 pm

The former scoutmaster of Boy Scouts Troop 88 in Bridgewater will return to New Jersey on Saturday to raise money for former Rep. Michael Pappas’s bid for a State Senate seat in the 16th legislative district.

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), who ran the scout troop in Bridgewater before returning to Texas and running for Congress, will headline the event in Hillsborough.  Ticket prices range from $100 to $500.

Sessions was living in Somerset County as an employee New Jersey Bell, had later transferred to Southwestern Bell in Texas, where he grew up.  His father, William B. Sessions, had served as the U.S. Attorney and as a federal judge in the Western District of Texas and was named Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation by President Ronald Reagan in 1986.

He won a Texas congressional seat in 1996, on his second try.  The same year, Pappas won an open seat in New Jersey’s 12th district after Rep. Dick Zimmer (R-Delaware) left to run for the U.S. Senate.

Pappas and Sessions served in Congress together for two years.

In 2010, Sessions caught some flak by making a joke about the predominately-white Princeton University basketball team as he introduced then-Gov. Chris Christie during a meeting of the House Republican caucus.

According to a POLITICO report, Sessions said that the game was “played entirely below the rim.”

“How often can you go see a bunch of white guys play basketball?,” Sessions reportedly asked.

Sessions attracted some more attention early this year when he tweeted support for people preparing to protest outside the U.S. Capitol on January 6.

“Had a great meeting today with folks from ‘Stop the Steal’ at our nation’s Capital. I encouraged them to keep fighting and assured them I look forward to doing MY duty on January 6th,” Sessions wrote.

The Texas congressman originally posted his tweet on January 3, but deleted it on January 7, according to Poitiwoops, a ProPublica site that records deleted tweets from public officials and candidates.

Pappas, 60, is seeking the seat being vacated by Republican State Sen. Christopher Bateman (R-Branchburg), who is retiring after four terms in the New Jersey State Senate and 28 years total in the legislature.  He’ll face Democrat Andrew Zwicker (D-South Brunswick), a three-term assemblyman.

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