State Sen. Shirley Turner (D-Lawrence), Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-Trenton), and Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-Hopewell) jointly announced today that they will run for another term in the 15th legislative district.
The announcement is not a surprise; after all, the three incumbents already won the Democratic organizational line in Hunterdon County, and are unopposed for the upcoming Mercer Democratic convention. Barring something extraordinary, all three are completely secure for re-election in their Biden +48 district.
“We are excited to continue advocating for our residents to make sure the unique needs of our district get met both in the budget process and through legislation,” the trio said in a statement. “We know the issues of our district and will continue getting the job done.”
Turner, who is one of the legislature’s oldest and longest-serving members, has represented the Mercer County-based 15th district since 1994. She spent four years as an assemblywoman before running for the Senate in 1997, unseating incumbent State Sen. Dick LaRossa (R-Ewing) 54%-46% and establishing the district from then on as a safely Democratic seat.
Reynolds-Jackson and Verrelli, on the other hand, are much newer additions to the statehouse. Reynolds-Jackson won a February 2018 special convention to succeed now-State Treasurer Elizabeth Muio, and Verrelli soon joined her after a July 2018 convention to replace now-Trenton Mayor Reed Gusciora.
Though none of the 15th district incumbents face any opponents, the March 5 Mercer Democratic convention will still be an eventful one thanks to the county executive race between incumbent Brian Hughes and Assemblyman Dan Benson (D-Hamilton). If Benson wins the Democratic line, that could put Turner and Reynolds-Jackson in an awkward position, since both have endorsed Hughes.