Sadaf Jaffer, the former mayor of Montgomery Township, has emerged as a contender for an assembly seat in LD16.
A Democrat, Jaffer would run on a ticket with Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker (D-16) and Assemblyman Roy Freiman (D-16).
Zwicker’s running for the state senate.
The current occupant of the seat, state Senator Kip Bateman (R-16) is not expected to seek reelection, and may be headed for a judgeship.
As Jaffer, “I’m seriously considering it but I haven’t decided yet,” she told InsiderNJ.
On the Republican side, former Somerset County Freeholder Brian Gallagher is said to be kicking the tires on a run, either for the senate, in the event that Bateman does not run, or for an assembly seat.
Gallagher lost his countywide reelection bid last year on a GOP ticket with Brian Levine, who is mulling a bid for governor.
The first female Muslim mayor in the country, a doctorate from Harvard who specializes in Islam, gender studies and South Asian history, Jaffer serves as a postdoctoral research associate in South Asian studies at Princeton University, where she teaches courses on South Asian, Islamic and Asian-American studies.
In an interview with Religion News Service two years ago, she said, “I decided to run for public office because I didn’t see my values reflected in my elected officials. I’ve been a scholar and activist for some time. If you keep advocating to people who just don’t share your values, you eventually hit a wall. I also believe we shouldn’t ask others to do something we’re not willing to do ourselves. If I want people from diverse backgrounds to run for office, I should also be willing to do it myself.”
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