Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange), widely considered a likely candidate for the 34th legislative district’s newly open Senate seat, said today that she is currently focused on her work in the Assembly instead of a potential campaign for higher office.
“There is an open seat, there’s quite a bit of opportunity around,” Timberlake said. “But what I’m doing is I’m focusing on these next two years and writing the best policies possible, not only for my constituents but throughout the entire state of New Jersey.”
The state’s new legislative map, adopted a week and a half ago after an unprecedented bipartisan process, draws 34th district State Sen. Nia Gill (D-Montclair) and 27th district State Sen. and former Gov. Richard Codey (D-Roseland) into one heavily retooled district, leaving the 34th district without an incumbent senator.
Timberlake, who has served under Gill her entire time in the legislature, said that for now she won’t take sides in a hypothetical Gill v. Codey primary.
“I don’t have any thoughts on that [primary],” she said. “I believe that’s something for them to sit down and discuss, and I wish everyone well.”
Timberlake’s guarded approach stands in contrast with that of Assemblyman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City), who was confronted with a similar situation in Hudson County when State Sens. Brian Stack (D-Union City) and Nicholas Sacco (D-North Bergen) were drawn together. Mukherji announced a Senate campaign for the newly open 32nd district within hours of the release of the legislative map, and seemingly wrapped up the Democratic nomination just as quickly.