TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A veteran state lawmaker who helped create New Jersey's county college system and once ran for governor has died.

Raymond Bateman's death was announced Saturday by his son, Christopher "Kip" Bateman, a Republican who now holds the state senate seat from Somerset County that his father once occupied.

Raymond Bateman was 88 when he died early Saturday after a brief illness.

He served in the Legislature for 20 years, including stints as the GOP's assistant majority leader and majority leader in both the assembly and senate. He also served three terms as Senate president and more than 100 days as acting governor.

Bateman also was chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority.

He won the Republican nomination for governor in 1977, but lost to incumbent Democrat Brendan Byrne.

Never miss breaking news as it happens! Sign up now to receive alerts delivered to your inbox.

Copy desk chief / comics blogger

Print Director

Press copy editor since 2006, copy desk chief since 2014. Masters in journalism from Temple University, 2006. My weekly comics blog, Wednesday Morning Quarterback, appears Wednesday mornings at

Recommended for you

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.

PLEASE BE ADVISED: Soon we will no longer integrate with Facebook for story comments. The commenting option is not going away, however, readers will need to register for a FREE site account to continue sharing their thoughts and feedback on stories. If you already have an account (i.e. current subscribers, posting in obituary guestbooks, for submitting community events), you may use that login, otherwise, you will be prompted to create a new account.