Coughlin chosen for another term as Assembly speaker

By Eric Strauss
Trenton | Nov 7, 2019 at 1:48 pm

Assemblyman Craig Coughlin, who became the state Assembly speaker in January 2018, was re-elected to the post by the Democratic Caucus in the wake of Tuesday’s general election.

Coughlin (D-Woodbridge) will serve in the role during the 219th Legislative Session, his office announced Thursday. He succeeded Vincent Prieto in the role in 2018, joining then-newly elected Gov. Phil Murphy and state Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) in Trenton leadership roles.

“I am honored to serve a second term as Assembly speaker,” Coughlin said in a prepared statement. “I thank my fellow Assembly Democrats for putting their trust in me to continue to serve as the leader of our caucus.

“We have accomplished many great things over the last two years that have improved the lives of our fellow New Jerseyans, including increasing the minimum wage, protecting our most vulnerable and providing a record amount of school funding.

“However, there remains a lot to be done in the coming months and into next year, and I am happy to work with our 52-member caucus on all of the initiatives we hope to accomplish.”

Assembly Majority Leader Lou Greenwald (D-Voorhees) and Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) were also re-elected by their respective parties.

The Republican Party picked up at least two Assembly seats in this week’s election, with the possibility of adding two others that are currently too close to call. If the GOP gains all four seats, the Democrats would hold 50 of the 80 seats in the Assembly.

Democrats also hold either 25 or 26 of the 40 seats in the state Senate, pending one vote that appears to favor a Republican.

Eric Strauss | estrauss@roi-nj.com | acerimrat