So far, 14% of N.J. GOP legislators aren’t seeking reelection in ’23

Republicans *might* have their best chance in two decades to capture at least one house of the New Jersey State Legislature. Either way, expect a significant number of new faces come January 2024.

The news dropped Thursday morning that Assemblywoman DeAnne DeFuccio (R-39) isn’t seeking reelection this year after announcing that she would a mere week ago (?) is only the latest surprising GOP retirement announcement. At present, seven GOP legislators aren’t seeking reelection to their present seat this June.

In LD8 (Jean Stanfield) and LD9 (Chris Connors), both GOP incumbent senators are hanging up their saddles. Connors’s seat is safe red, but Stanfield’s redrawn district only slightly leans rightward so her recent retirement decision creates a toss up seat. However, there are no less than eight candidates (!) seeking the GOP nomination for Assembly in LD9 where both incumbents are expected to file for reelection.

Over in DeFuccio’s neighboring LD40, Assemblyman Kevin Rooney (no relation to yours truly) isn’t seeking reelection; his presumptive successor in this reliably Republican jursdiction is Al Barlas, chairman of the Essex County GOP. Unlike LD40, LD39 could see competitive primaries not only for DeFuccio’s seat but also A challenge to Senator Holly Schepisi and a possible challenge to Assemblyman Bob Auth (Schepisi and Auth famously don’t get along).

LD24 is the wildest example. All three incumbents announced that they weren’t seeking reelection in 2023 including Senate GOP Leader Steven Oroho. Then Parker Space (who was leaving the Assembly along with running mate Hal Wirths) reversed course and decided to run for Oroho’s Senate post; his likely primary opponent is none other than Steve Lonegan.

There are other Republican primaries percolating, notably in LD3 (where a local mayor may try to take on Ed the Trucker) and LD12 (where 80-something year old Senator Sam Thompson is reportedly readying for a possible challenge from the Mayor of Old Bridge).

Democrats are seeing a tad less turnover – 7 of their 70 legislators aren’t running for another term in their current posts.

Matt Rooney
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MATT ROONEY is's founder and editor-in-chief, a practicing New Jersey attorney, and the host of 'The Matt Rooney Show' on 1210 WPHT every Sunday evening from 7-10PM EST.