State Senator Ronald L. Rice (D-28) supports his colleague, state Senator Nia Gill (D-34) to be the next senate president of New Jersey.
“Yes,” said Rice, when asked if he backs Gill.
Last night, the senator from Montclair made clear her intention to run for the senate presidency, in the face of party leaders from Middlesex and South Jersey insisting they have the votes to make Senator Nick Scutari of Linden the successor to Steve Sweeney.
Secure in his own knowledge of reupping as senate prez in the backrooms of Trenton, Sweeney lost at the polls in South Jersey on Tuesday.
On Saturday, chairs from three other counties, Passaic, Monmouth, and Gill’s own Essex, issued a statement in support of Scutari to serve as the next senate president.
But Gill, who defeated Jones off the line in her 2003 reelection bid to secure her state senate seat, indicated her rejection of the deal for Scutari by declaring her own candidacy.
Rice added, “The coalition of civil rights leaders are correct,” referring to a release issued earlier this week, which read in part:
Black and Latino leaders in New Jersey call on the Legislature to select a person of color as the next Senate President. New Jersey is almost half people of color, and it is time for the leadership of the New Jersey Legislature to reflect the makeup of our population. The transition of Senate President Sweeney is an opportunity to acknowledge the diversity of our state and select a leader who represents the interests of the majority of New Jersey’s residents.
“As New Jersey and the nation continue to grapple with race, we must be vigilant in our efforts to hold leaders accountable,” said Rev. Eric Dobson, Deputy Director of Fair Share Housing Center. “Almost half of New Jersey’s residents are people of color. Our legislative leadership must reflect those demographics. We have a white, male Governor and a white, male Assembly Speaker. We must not allow another white male to ascend to Senate President.”