New Jersey state Senate Republican Whip Joe Pennacchio released the following statement on the swearing-in Monday of Vincent Polistina, replacing former Senator Chris Brown who stepped down to accept a job in the Murphy Administration:
“Senator Polistina should be rightfully recognized as the representative of the residents of the 2nd Legislative District. To the extent that some may have concerns regarding the legitimacy of the swearing in, it’s important to acknowledge there are remedies. We don’t have to bring everyone back to Trenton for a swearing in. The Senate can quorum remotely, and Polistina can take the oath anywhere, any time.
“There was a similar vacancy in the Assembly recently. A new Assemblywoman took the oath on a day without a quorum. It appears Democrat leadership understood the importance of maintaining the continuity of district offices and constituent services and administered the oath so she could get to work on behalf of the residents. When the Legislature reconvened in May, she was formally sworn in.
“The only reason to deny Polistina and the residents of the 2nd District the same opportunity may boil down to nothing more than partisan politics.
“The residents of the district deserve to have Senate representation, especially now during the health emergency declared by the Governor. People need someone fighting for them, to help take care of the mess the administration has caused with unemployment, motor vehicles, and the handling of the pandemic. They can’t afford to wait three long months for help.
“It is shameful that politics continues to rear its ugly head during this emergency. It’s time to put the petty, partisan politics aside and do what’s right for the residents of the 2nd District.”