Somerville – After interviewing more than a dozen state legislature hopefuls, the Somerset County Democratic Committee today unanimously endorsed a 16th District ticket of Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker for Senate, and Assemblyman Roy Freiman and former Montgomery Mayor Sadaf Jaffer for Assembly. The Zwicker, Freiman, and Jaffer team will join Governor Phil Murphy and Somerset County Commissioners Shanel Robinson and Sara Sooy to form one of the strongest Democratic tickets in county history.
Andrew Zwicker will be the first Democratic Senator to represent the 16th district in modern history after becoming the first 16th District Democrat winning his Assembly seat in 2015 by only 78 votes. He has increased his margin of victory each year
besting Mark Caliguire by 5400 votes in 2019. Zwicker’s full-time career is as a physicist with the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory. It is likely that Zwicker will face Republican Mike Pappas, a former US House member who lost his seat to physicist Rush Holt in 1998.
“Andrew has been a great Assemblyman for the 16th district and Somerset County and we’re thrilled to have his progressive vision for New Jersey leading our ticket,” said Schaffer. She quipped: “It will be icing on the cake to see Mike Pappas become the first politician to lose two elections to physicists in one career.”
Assemblyman Roy Freiman will be running for his third term in the Assembly, after winning his seat in 2017 in a race to succeed Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli following Ciattarelli’s last failed gubernatorial bid. Freiman has been a leader on financial and transportation issues, as well as championing election reform legislation.
Mayor Sadaf Jaffer, who holds a Harvard PhD is running for her first term in the Assembly following successful terms as Mayor of Montgomery Township.
“Somerset County Democrats not only govern well at all levels but break barriers when we do. Shanel Robinson was the first African American Somerset County Commissioner Director, Sara Sooy was the first Latina Somerset County Commissioner, Surrogate Tina Jalloh is the first woman and Muslim to serve in that office, and Mayor Sadaf Jaffer was the first female Muslim to serve as Mayor in the United States and will soon be the first Muslim and first South Asian to serve in the New Jersey Assembly,” said Schaffer. “Our strength is in the diverse professions, history, and backgrounds of our candidates and leaders, and this ticket reflects that strength.”