In Brief

Incumbents win two special legislative elections

By: - November 9, 2022 11:49 am

Alex Sauickie, seen here being sworn in on Sept. 15, 2022 to an interim term in the Assembly, won a special election last night to continue representing the 12th District in the Legislature. (Photo by Jennifer Peacock for the Assembly Republican Office)

Two incumbent lawmakers easily won New Jersey’s special legislative elections Tuesday, victories that will allow them to serve through next year’s legislative contests.

State Sen. Renee Burgess (D-Essex) handily defeated Republican Joy Bembry Freeman by nearly 53 points in the solidly blue 28th District. Essex County Democratic committee people named Burgess to the seat in September following the retirement of Sen. Ronald Rice.

Rice, the longtime former chair of the Legislative Black Caucus, retired in August over health issues.

Before entering the Legislature, Burgess was Irvington’s council president

In the 12th District, Assemblyman Alex Sauickie (R-Ocean) easily prevailed over Democratic challenger Paul Sarti, defeating him by 24 points to claim the final year of late Assemblyman Ron Dancer’s term.

Dancer died in July at 73, and Republican county committee people from each of the district’s four counties named Sauickie, a former Jackson council vice president, to fill his seat.

Burgess and Sauicki will serve at least until 2023’s elections, when every New Jersey legislative seat is up for grabs.


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Nikita Biryukov
Nikita Biryukov

Nikita Biryukov most recently covered state government and politics for the New Jersey Globe. His tenure there included revelatory stories on marijuana legalization, voting reform and Rep. Jeff Van Drew's decamp to the Republican Party. Earlier, he worked as a freelancer for The Home News Tribune and The Press of Atlantic City.