Republican Holly Schepisi today assumed the vacant senate seat in the 39th District, the first Republican female Senator from Bergen County and the first female ever to represent District 39 in the Legislature.
“The road here has not been an easy one, but my failures along the way led me to this path,” said Schepisi, who filled the vacancy caused by the death of Gerald Cardinale.
In the Senate, she will serve on the Health, Human Services & Senior Citizens Committee and the Labor Committee.
“As a working mother and a small business owner, I understand the many difficulties our families have faced during the pandemic,” Schepisi said. “After an unbelievably tough year, we have a lot of important work to do to get New Jersey back on track. I’m excited, ready, and looking forward to the opportunity.”
A fighter and the daughter of a well-known Bergen County Republican, John Schepisi, the freshman senator and former assemblywoman bounced back to her work in the legislature after suffering a brain aneurysm in 2015.
In her first address to her colleagues from the rostrum, New Jersey’s newest state senator quoted President John Quincy Adams:
“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
The married mother of two children, Kayla and Easton, and overseer of a private practice; Schepisi serves the 39th District, which includes her hometown of River Vale and 22 other municipalities in northern Bergen and Passaic counties.
Following Mr. Cardinale’s death, Schepisi outmuscled an obstinate but ultimately completely outclassed Assemblyman Bob Auth.
“I was stunned. It was shocking,” Schepisi told Insider NJ earlier this month when Auth initially refused to yield. “In politics, the only thing you really have is your word. Yesterday morning we had confirmed with multiple people that he was going to run for re-election for Assembly and support me for State Senate. I had agreed because I can raise more money for the ticket, I would financially support the ticket in a greater fashion, we would all work together. I personally reached out to him yesterday morning and sent him a text message to confirm everything. I said we should pick a day to get a drink and start afresh. I spoke to his chief of staff who said congratulations and said this was in the best interests of everybody, we’re all happy it’s been resolved. I spoke to others who confirmed the same thing.”
Auth folded in when it became obvious that he lacked support.
Schepisi’s advancement makes her just the second Republican woman state senator in New Jersey.