NewJerseyGlobe is reporting that Josh Welle said he is considering as run for State Assembly in from the 13th Legislative district.
“It’s something I’m taking a look at,” Welle told the New Jersey Globe. “I’m going to take the next few weeks to see if that makes sense and see if it’s the best way for me to serve.”
Welle, who is registered to vote in Virginia, did not say if he would seek the Democrat or Republican nomination for Assembly. He’s been a registered Democrat for less than two years, declaring himself a D after he was turned down for a White House Fellowship in the Trump Administration in 2017. Shortly thereafter he started running for the Democrat nomination for Congress from New Jersey’s 4th district.
Republican incumbent Amy Handlin announced in October that she will not run for reelection in 2019.
Despite the fact that Democrats outnumber Republicans in the district, the 13th is considered a safe Republican district. Unaffiliated voters consistently elect Republicans on the county, state and federal level.
In his race against Congressman Chris Smith, Welle was only competitive in two of the five towns that overlap CD-4 and LD 13. He won in Fair Haven, 1735-1313, and lost in Little Silver by only 33 votes (with 35 voting for a third party candidate) 1702-1669. Smith crushed Welle in Holmdel (4,212-3,172), Middletown (8,628-6,228) and Rumson (1,909-1,573).
All 80 seats in the Assembly, two from each district, are on the ballot next November.
Republican incumbent Serena DiMaso of Holmdel is running for a second term from the 13th district. Unless former Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno of Monmouth Beach decides to run, Dimaso’s Republican running mate will probably be from Middletown, the largest town in the district. Freeholder Gerry Scharfenberger, a former Middletown mayor, hasn’t decided if he will run for Freeholder or Assembly next year. If neither Guadagno nor Scharfenberger runs for Assembly, Monmouth County Tax Board Commissioner Steve Massell, a former Middletown Township Committeeman, will be the favorite to be DiMaso’s running mate.
Welle could probably have one of the Democrat nominations without any competition.
The only other Democrat in the mix for a LD 13 Assembly nomination so far is Allison Friedman, a Public Defender who also serves on the Matawan-Aberdeen School Board. Friedman ran for Assembly in 2013.