Former Assemblyman Matthew Milam will take the 1st District Assembly seat Bob Andrzejczak vacated to move up to the state Senate earlier this month, local Democratic officials said.
Meanwhile, Republican former Assemblyman and 2018 congressional candidate Sam Fiocchi has announced he will run for state Senate in the 1st District, which covers Cape May County and parts of Cumberland and Atlantic counties.
Cape May County Democratic leader Brendan Sciarra said another man interested in the Assembly seat, Cumberland County Freeholder James Quinn, has withdrawn from consideration.
Neither Milam nor Quinn responded to requests for comment.
A date for when Milam would be sworn in was not provided.
Andrzejczak took the oath of office as a state senator Tuesday, replacing Jeff Van Drew, who won a seat in the House of Representatives in November.
By rule, the party of the candidate leaving the seat gets to name a replacement to serve until the next election.
Milam will go into the election as an incumbent, joining Andrzejczak and Assemblyman Bruce Land on the ballot.
Milam replaced Van Drew in the Assembly in 2008 after the Cape May County Democrat beat Republican incumbent Nicholas Asselta for the 1st District Senate seat.
In the spring of 2013, Milam abruptly resigned. Reports at the time cited the demands of his business, Foundry Service Corp. in Vineland. An operator at that office said he no longer runs the company.
Andrzejczak replaced Milam in the Assembly and on the Democratic ticket that November.
A combined meeting of Democratic committee members was being planned for late January, with plans for a secret ballot to determine whether the seat would be appointed to Milam or Quinn.
Sciarra said he could not offer further details on the matter when contacted Thursday.
Fiocchi said Gov. Phil Murphy’s State of the State address, with its emphasis on tax increases and driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants, helped him decide to run.
“Frankly, I found it disingenuous that the governor would thank our veterans for their service knowing that at least $1.2 million was removed from the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs in his state budget,” he said in a statement announcing his run. “Yet he could find $2 million for the defense of illegal aliens in this state.”
Fiocchi represented the 1st District as an assemblyman for one term from 2014 to 2016, when he was defeated by Land. He was also a Cumberland County freeholder from 2011 to 2013.
He said he looked forward to an honest, spirited primary election and an equally tough general election.
The full Republican ticket has not been set. According to Cape May County Republican leader Marcus Karavan, that decision will come March 13 in Avalon, when committee members will decide whom to support in the nomination process at their convention. The successful candidates will appear on the county party line in the June primary.
Cumberland County GOP Chairman Mike Testa said he also plans to run for the Senate seat.