The body that makes New Jersey’s laws just got three — count ’em — three new faces this week.
Carter, a Union County freeholder, replaces the late Jerry Green, who died at age 79 last month.
Swain, the former mayor of Fair Lawn, and Tully, the former council president in Bergenfield, will be district mates.
They replace Joseph Lagana, who moved up to the state Senate last month when state Sen. Robert Gordon resigned to join the state Board of Public Utilities, and Tim Eustace, who resigned last month to take a job outside of state government.
Carter — a freeholder since 2010 and the first African-Amerian woman to serve as chairwoman of Union’s freeholder board — will represent central Jersey’s 22nd district, which includes parts of Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties.
The Plainfield resident — and former city council president — vowed Thursday to focus on affordable housing, education funding, tax relief, environmental protection, and businesses owned by women and minorities.
“Now it’s time to roll up my sleeves and get to work in passing legislation to make New Jersey safer, stronger and more affordable,” said Carter, a school teacher in Passaic by trade.
“I know how hard Assemblyman Green worked in making housing more affordable in our urban communities, and I am committing to picking up that torch and making him proud,” she added.
Both Swain and Tully will represent north Jersey’s 38th district, which includes parts of Bergen and Passaic counties.
Swain spent 11 years on the Fair Lawn council before serving two terms as mayor. She is also a triathlete coach and previously managed a law firm.
“I welcome the challenge to tackle issues that impact our residents at the state level, and I promise to be a strong voice in Trenton for my constituents,” Swain said.
Tully served on the Bergenfield council for eight years. He is also a former top aide to U.S. Rep. Josh Gottheimer, D-5th Dist.
“As a councilman, I learned the importance of being accessible to, and communicating with, my constituents,” Tully said. “I will ensure that same level of outreach and accountability remains between myself and all the residents of all the towns in the 38th district.”
Because the three lawmakers being replaced are Democrats, members of that party from each of their districts picked who would take over.
Carter, Swain, and Tully all must run in a special election this November for the final year of their seats’ two-year terms.
All three had to step down from their previous elected positions because New Jersey law forbids state lawmakers from holding two elected posts.
They are the latest in a string of new Democratic lawmakers. A number of legislators resigned to take positions in new Gov. Phil Murphy’s administration over the last few months.