With legislative redistricting keeping his district almost entirely intact, State Sen. Sam Thompson (R-Old Bridge) said today that it’s “highly probable” he’ll run for re-election in 2023.
Thompson, the oldest legislator in the state at age 86, was first elected to the Assembly in 1997 to a Monmouth County-based district that also included his hometown of Old Bridge. If he wins re-election, he would be 92 when his next term is over.
In 2011, redistricting tore his 13th district apart and put him in the new 12th district, which included parts of Middlesex, Monmouth, Ocean, and Burlington Counties. The new, solidly Republican district had a Senate seat open for the taking, and Thompson won the Senate primary unopposed.
It briefly looked like Thompson’s gangly 12th district might be torn apart once again by this year’s redistricting process; the initial map proposed by Republicans put Old Bridge into a highly competitive Middlesex County-based district that also included the hometown of Democratic Assemblyman Sterley Stanley (D-East Brunswick).
“[Both parties] kind of stick it to me, but I’m not worried,” Thompson said at the time.
But ultimately, the compromise map hashed out by Democrats and Republicans together kept the district largely intact, taking out a small portion of Burlington County towns and adding new parts of Middlesex County.
“I lost three towns up in Burlington County… but I picked up two towns here in Middlesex County,” Thompson said. “One of them’s Spotswood – when I first came to the legislature, for the first two years, I represented Spotswood, so I’m getting it back. The other one’s the small town of Helmetta. I’m not at all displeased.”