When Leonard Lance Made Codey King of the Senate

GOP Congressmen

In January 2004, Dick Codey went to the General Assembly floor for the Senate reorganization. Nia Gill had challenged him in caucus for leadership and held all the African American Democratic votes.

Gill’s hand hold on those votes was enough to deny Codey 21 without Republican votes.

It all came down to Leonard Lance, who was then serving as minority leader.

Tony Bucco and others were itching to give the job to Gill, but Lance declined and supported Codey.

Had Lance supported Gill she would have become senate president.

One source who was in the caucus then told InsiderNJ that he always thought Lance backed Codey because of protocol and because Codey fortuitously honored him earlier by swearing him in as acting governor.

“This story indicates that the election of the speaker and the senate president is by the entire body of the respective houses, unlike majority leaders, which are elected by their caucuses only,” the source noted. “So in a year like the current one, this puts Republicans and the incoming governor prominently in play until reorganization day unless, of course, 21/21 is LOCKED DOWN beforehand.”

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