Smith Throws Down the Gauntlet in Front of Bramnick at Schaffer Hearing

The Senate Judiciary Committee this afternoon approved Marguerite “Peg” Schaffer for the Sports and Exposition Authority, but not before some friendly sparks flew between Senator Jon Bramnick (R-21) and Senator Bob Smith (D-17).

The committee voted uniformly in favor of Schaffer, Governor Phil Murphy’s nominee for a seat on the authority.

An attorney who doubles as the veteran chair of the Somerset County Democratic Committee, Schaffer represented professional soccer clubs in the era of the New York Cosmos.

“These are exciting times,” she said, referencing the coming World Cup in the New York Metropolitan Area.

Schaffer’s longtime ally Smith jumped in to boost her candidacy.

“She’s a very effective leader and one of the reasons she is is her innovation,” said the Middlesex

Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer has been appointed Interim Vice Chair of the New Jersey Democratic State Committee, after Vice Chair Lizette Delgado-Polanco stepped down from the position.
Somerset County Democratic Chair Peg Schaffer.

senator. “Peg every year sponsors an opportunity for any politician to make a complete fool of himself, called ‘Comedy Night.’

“You do know that Senator Bramnick advertises himself as the funniest lawyer in New Jersey,” Smith added.

Bramnick was listening.

“Maybe Schaffer should [invite Bramnick to compete at ‘Comedy Night’],” Smith nudged.

Schaffer modestly protested.

“I think if Senator Bramnick competed it would be unfair,” she said, referring to the Union-based senator’s self-professed role as New Jersey’s funniest lawyer.

“If he raised the bar a little bit, we might do better,” said Smith. “We should have a joke-off.”

Bramnick warned to the challenge.

“It’s probably a better idea to have something bipartisan in this state,” the Republican told the two Democrats.

Moments later, Senator Nellie Pou (D-35) added her voice of strong support for Schaffer, describing her as “an incredible leader.”

The committee then moved the nomination and Senator Brian Stack (D-33), the chairman, congratulated Schaffer.

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