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Senator Dawn Addiego from Burlington County this afternoon released a statement that she is switching parties from Republican to Democrat.
“My core values that originally drew me to the Republican Party have not changed, but the party which once echoed the vision of Ronald Reagan no longer exists,” Addiego wrote. “Oil drilling off our coast and tax policy which unfairly penalizes New Jersey families are just a few examples of a National Republican Party that has lost its way.
“After careful consideration, I have made the decision to change political affiliations,” she added.
The 8th District lawmaker’s decision comes in the same month that Democrats formally took control of the freeholder board in Burlington, the swearing-in of U.S. Rep. Andy Kim (D-3), who last year defeated incumbent U.S. Rep. Tom MacArthur (R-3), and following the retirement of BurlCo GOP Chairman Bill Layton.
Not only does it continue the mudslide power shift away from Republicans to Democrats in the era of President Donald J. Trump.
It reconfigures the state senate to give Democrats a 26-14 advantage over Republicans.
First elected to the state assembly in 2007, Addiego of Evesham became senator upon the retirement of Phil Haines in 2010.
A source described the move as a big plus for Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-3), known to possess a deft hand as the leader of his senate Democratic caucus, with the muscle of South Jersey behind him.
Sweeney right now is engaged in a full-blown political power war with Governor Phil Murphy, a fellow Democrat.
Sweeney released a statement welcoming Addiego into the Democratic caucus: “I want to welcome Senator Addiego to the Democratic Caucus where I know she will be a strong voice for the policies and programs that will serve the best interests of her district and the State of New Jersey. I am confident that she will make valued contributions to the work of the Democratic Majority and the success of the New Jersey Senate. Senator Addiego has been a champion for labor issues, women’s rights, the environment and sound economic policies. As a member of the Economic and Fiscal Policy Workgroup she recognizes the serious financial problems that confront us and she understands the need to make the reforms needed to maintain the state’s fiscal health and stability. I look forward to working with Senator Addiego in meeting the challenges we face as a new member of the Senate Democrats.”
Senate Minority Leader Kean expressed disappointment in Addiego’s defection, saying “to tie her decision to Congressional action is misguided. She knows NJ Republican legislators, particularly her Senate Republican colleagues, are working hard every day to create opportunities for every New Jerseyan”.
Addiego’s full statement is printed below.
Full Statement from Senator Dawn M. Addiego:
As gridlock in Washington dominates the news, it has become increasingly clear that in order to effect change you have to be part of the discussion and not on the outside looking in. The people of the 8th District did not elect me to be content in the role of loyal opposition.
I have had the opportunity over the course of the last year to work closely with Senate President Sweeney on the Economic and Fiscal Policy Work Group. His tireless work ethic and unparalleled success at delivering for the people of NJ and particularly South Jersey is to be admired.
I am utterly convinced, as he is, that New Jersey’s current fiscal mess cannot be fixed by putting our heads in the sand and pretending it does not exist.
My core values that originally drew me to the Republican Party have not changed, but the party which once echoed the vision of Ronald Reagan no longer exists.
Oil drilling off our coast and tax policy which unfairly penalizes New Jersey families are just a few examples of a National Republican Party that has lost its way.
After careful consideration, I have made the decision to change political affiliations.
I am looking forward to working with both parties, the Governor and all legislators to make New Jersey a better place for our families.