Assemblyman Joseph Lagana (D-Paramus) will be the Democratic organization choice for State Senator, once incumbent Bob Gordon (D-Fair Lawn) is nominated and confirmed as a Commissioner of the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities,
Democratic sources say that Lagana will get the Senate seat and not Timothy Eustace (D-Maywood), who has been in the Assembly two years longer.
If Gordon’s nomination is finalized before September, his resignation from the Senate will trigger a September 2018 special election for the remaining 38 months of Gordon’s term. This is viewed as advantageous to Democrats, who would rather run the campaign in 2018 than in Gov. Phil Murphy’s midterm election. The 38th district is potentially competitive, although Gordon has made it safe Democratic since taking the Senate seat in 2007.
Lagana is an attorney at a Hudson County law firm with very close ties to State Sen./North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco. Sacco is one of three Democratic State Senators who can be counted in Murphy’s camp.
As a Senator, Gordon is immune from senatorial courtesy.
Lagana’s election to the Senate would prompt a special election convention for his Assembly seat. That post would also be up in a November 2018 special election.