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Another name is circulating in the vicinity of the white heat-generating congressional seat currently occupied by U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew. It’s attorney Ray Batten of Cape May County, a retired judge from Avalon who was politically active before he became a judge.
A source told InsiderNJ he’s a potential Dem contender for CD-2.
He may find a tough road to the nomination.
“Keeping my powder dry,” said Atlantic County Democratic Committee Chairman Michael Suleiman, in response to a question about Amy Kennedy’s formation of an exploratory committee. “Some great candidates from Atlantic County coming forward. Staying neutral, but I personally think our party should nominate a woman to be the nominee.”
In 1992, at age 38, Batten was appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court by Governor James Florio. In 1999, he was reappointed for tenure by Governor Christine Todd Whitman. He served the first ten years (1992-2002) of his twenty-three year judicial career in the Family Part of Vicinage I (Atlantic/Cape May Counties). He then served ten years in the Criminal Part in those counties through his appointment as Presiding Judge, Chancery Division, on March 1, 2013, where he served through his September 1, 2015 retirement. Twelve of Judge Batten’s trial opinions were published by the Committee on Opinions.
Prior to joining Archer, Batten was appointed to the New Jersey Superior Court by Governor Jim Florio in 1992 and was reappointed for tenure in 1999. He served on the criminal division of the Cape May County Court from 2002 to 2013. He was reassigned as the presiding judge of the General Equity Division for Vicinage 1 in 2013. Prior to his judgeship, Batten was a former Assemblyman from New Jersey’s 1st district and a former municipal prosecutor.
The prospective candidate earned his J.D. from the Widener University School of Law in 1979 and his B.A. from Princeton University in 1976.
Many other Democrats are eyeballing a run.
Educator Amy Kennedy of Brigantine today said she planned to form an exploratory committee toward undertaking a run, and this morning Montclair University Political Science Professor Brigid Harrison formally launched her candidacy.