15

December 6, 2019 | Number of The Day
GOP members of the NJ Senate since November elections

The size of the Republican caucus in the New Jersey Senate increased by one to 15 members on Thursday with the swearing in of Michael Testa to represent the southernmost 1st legislative district.

Testa won 53.4% of the vote to defeat Democrat Bob Andrzejcak in last month’s election for an unexpired term. It was the only Senate seat on the ballot in the state, with the election necessitated by the resignation of Democrat Jeff Van Drew to take a seat in Congress. Democratic committee members had chosen Andrzejczak to fill the seat until last month’s election. Testa will serve out the remainder of the term through early January 2021.

The 1st District win by Testa, along with running mates Antwan McClellan and Erik Simonsen for two Assembly terms, were the only gains Republicans made in the legislative elections that featured all 80 seats in the lower house but it was also the first time in a decade that the GOP picked up any seats in the Legislature. Democrats still hold significant majorities in both houses — 25-15 in the Senate and as of next January, when McClellan and Simonsen are sworn in, 52-28 in the Assembly.

“The residents of the 1st Legislative District sent a message when they elected a real conservative to represent them in Trenton,” Testa said after being sworn in. “I’ll fight for the property tax relief and school funding that our overlooked towns in South Jersey deserve, and against the extreme spending, tax, and sanctuary state policies that our hard-working families can’t afford.”

Testa will serve on the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee and the Senate Labor Committee.