NJ GOP State Senator Leaves Party, Becomes A Democrat

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New Jersey State Senator Dawn Addiego announced today that she is switching parties and becoming a Democrat, in what amounts to a major win for Senate President Steve Sweeney and South Jersey Democratic leader George Norcross.

Addiego announced her decision in a statement on Monday, saying that “as gridlock in Washington dominates the news, it has become increasingly clear that in order to effect change you have to be part of the discussion and not on the outside looking in,” according to The New Jersey Globe, which first reported the story.

“The people of the 8th district did not elect me to be content in the role of loyal opposition,” she added.

Democrats will now have a 26-14 majority in the Senate, giving Republicans the least number of seats since 1981.

Addiego’s change of parties also makes it even tougher for Gov. Phil Murphy to assemble a coalition of senators to oppose Sweeney, as he did in December on legislative redistricting, The New Jersey Globe noted.

According to the report, the party switch was largely orchestrated by Norcross and lobbyist Jeffrey Michaels, a former chief of staff to Gov. Donald DiFrancesco.

Addiego, 56, has served in public office for 25 years. She spent seven years as an Evesham councilwoman, eight years as a freeholder, and three years as an assemblywoman before winning the 8th district Senate seat in 2010.

The 8th Legislative District covers most of Burlington County and parts of Atlantic County.

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