After reportedly being in talks with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee to run for congress in New Jersey’s 3rd congressional district, 6th district Assemblywoman Pamela Rosen Lampitt has formally announced that she will not be running in the Democratic primary for CD3’s seat, which represents the majority of Ocean and Burlington Counties.
In a statement, the state legislator said it was “truly an honor” to have been asked to run. “After giving this opportunity a great deal of consideration, I believe the way I can best serve our state is to continue representing the 6th legislative district. From paid sick leave to wage equity, there is still a lot of work to be done in New Jersey,” she said.
“I look forward to continuing my work on these issues and representing our district with my great colleagues Majority Leader Lou Greenwald and Senator Jim Beach.”
Lampitt, of Cherry Hill, does not currently reside in the 3rd Congressional District. Federal law does not require members of congress to actually live in the district they represent.
LaVergne, Cooke To Seek Nomination
That leaves two known candidates left to be vying for the Democratic nomination, Frederick LaVergne and Michael Cooke. LaVergne has indicated that he intends to run in the primary and has already held a town hall meeting in Lacey Township outlining his plans for the district. The Lacey event, which was well attended, even drew a Burlington County GOP operative, in addition to regular attendees.
Cooke, a Toms River attorney announced that he has formed an exploratory committee and has been a speaker at area Democratic events in Barnegat and Toms River about a potential run.
The winner of the Democratic nomination will face incumbent Rep. Tom MacArthur, a multimillionaire former insurance executive and former Randolph (Morris County) mayor that won the seat after John Runyan announced that he wouldn’t seek reelection in 2014. MacArthur’s victory was bolstered by support received from the powerful Ocean County Republican organization in addition to the relatively weak performance of Democratic nominee Aimee Belgard. As a consolation prize after her loss in CD3, Belgard was recently appointed as a Superior Court Judge in Burlington County.
The CD3 race of 2014 was categorized as one of the most expensive, nastiest races, with outside groups spending millions on both sides to influence the outcome of the vote.