Hamilton Councilwoman Lleana Schirmer (pictured) will seek the Republican nomination this year to run against incumbent Democratic Senator Linda Greenstein in the 14th Legislative District. If she is successful in the GOP Primary, Schirmer will be the first woman to run against Senator Greenstein in what was once – prior to the tenure of Governor Chris Christie – one of New Jersey’s true battleground districts.
Here’s a quick ten year history of the LD14 senate seat:
In 2007, then-Senator Pete Inverso of Hamilton, a Republican, announced his retirement. Quickly securing critical public sector labor support, then-Assemblyman Bill Baroni of Hamilton announced his decision to pursue the seat. Rather than oppose Baroni without labor, then-Assemblywoman Greenstein ran for reelection. Both Greenstein and Baroni won their respective races.
When Baroni went to the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey in 2010 rather than face reelection in the public sector unions heavy district where many voters sought to voice their opposition to Republican Governor Chris Christie’s overhaul of public pensions and benefits, the GOP appointed Republican Tom Goodwin of Hamilton to the vacant seat.
Now with public sector labor energized behind her, Greenstein beat Goodwin in 2010 to win the senate seat in a special election.
Then she defeated Richard Kanka of Hamilton in 2011 (55.3% to 44.7% or 26,202 to 21,176 votes).
Then she beat a come-backing Inverso in 2013 (50.4% to 48% or 31,387 to 29,903 votes) – her closest victory to date with a popular Christie at the top of the GOP ticket.
To a man – and now woman, if she gets through the primary – all of the Plainsboro-based Greenstein’s opponents have come out of Hamilton.