A 50-year, multi-generational institutional story that goes to the heart of Somerset County and to the heart of public service is coming to an end.
After more than 38 years of dedicated public service, Senator Christopher “Kip” Bateman (R-16) today announced that he will not seek reelection to the State Senate. Bateman will serve out the remainder of his term in Legislative District 16, which will conclude in January 2022.
“After careful consideration and with the support of my family, I have made the difficult decision not to seek reelection to the State Senate. As a lifelong resident of Somerset County, it has been an honor to spend nearly 40 years serving the community I am proud to call home,” said Senator Bateman, son of the late Senate President Ray Bateman. “I can’t begin to express how much I will miss serving our constituents. However, our state is still coping with a pandemic and I am committed to using my remaining time in office to help the countless residents who are in desperate need of our support.
“Although my time in elected office is coming to a close, I will always be a fierce advocate for the people of New Jersey. I’ll never stop fighting to make the Garden State a better place for our kids and grandkids. I look forward to finding new and exciting ways to give back to our neighbors in need,” Bateman added.
Bateman has served the 16th district in the New Jersey State Legislature since 1994, when he was first elected to the New Jersey General Assembly, where he served seven consecutive terms, ending in 2007. He began serving in the New Jersey State Senate in 2008, where he currently serves as Deputy Whip on the Senate Republican Leadership team. Bateman also currently serves on the State Senate Environment and Energy, Judiciary and Education Committees.
As the longtime ranking Republican member of the Senate Environment and Energy Committee, Bateman sponsored landmark legislation that created a long-term funding source for open space and farmland preservation, championed historical preservation efforts, and worked to safeguard clean air and clean water for future New Jersey residents.
Some of his other legislative achievements include laws that reduced the cost of auto insurance premiums for policy holders, a grant program to provide thermal imaging cameras to fire departments statewide, and bipartisan protections to strengthen crime victims’ rights. Bateman added that before he leaves office, he will continue to fight to see that his pending bipartisan legislation, “Timothy J. Piazza’s Law” (S-84) which would increase penalties for hazing on New Jersey’s college campuses, becomes law.
Bateman, a father of four and a former Mayor of Branchburg, added he will always treasure the opportunities he had to meet with local students, noting that he will remember his classroom visits as some of his favorite days in office.
Throughout his tenure in the Legislature, Bateman has been known for his ability to forge bipartisan compromises and reach across the aisle to enact policies that could benefit the people of New Jersey.
“I have always believed that government works best when we put people before politics. Good legislators should strive to be good listeners, follow their conscience and vote with the voices of the people they serve in mind. It is my hope that bipartisanship will continue to thrive in the halls of the New Jersey Statehouse long after I cast my final vote in the Senate chamber,” Bateman added. “I am beyond grateful to have had the privilege to work with so many passionate legislators and advocates on both sides of the aisle over the years. I would also like to thank my wonderful family, friends, and staff for all of their support and hard work.”
After he concludes his term in 2022, Bateman, who just welcomed his first grandchild, looks forward to spending more time with his family and will continue to be active in community service and at the law firm where he serves as a partner. Visit https://bateman.senatenj.com to learn more about his legislative efforts.
Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) this year is challenging for the seat now occupied by Bateman.
Today, former Governor and current Senator Richard J. Codey (D-27) released the following statement on Bateman’s announcement that he plans to retire at the end of his term:
“It has been my pleasure to serve alongside Senator Bateman, and his father before him. Their family has been friendly with our family for years; no one cares which party they were part of. He was a good steward of the seat, and worked hard for the good of his constituents. New Jersey is a better place because of Kip’s service in the Legislature. I wish him the best and we will be seeing him down the road for sure.”