Bucco sworn into state Senate seat held by his late father; Assembly opponents rap ‘partisan power grab’

Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist) is sworn in as the district's state senator, succeeding his father, Anthony Bucco, who died in September. Photo courtesy of Anthony M. Bucco, Oct. 24, 2019.


Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco (R-25th Dist.) was sworn in Thursday to the state Senate seat of his father, Anthony “Tony” Bucco, who died in September.

“It is my pledge to the 25th District’s residents that I will continue with my track record of pristine constituent service and a work ethic that they have come to know with me as their Assemblyman,” the Mountain Lakes resident said in a statement, citing lower property taxes, fair school funding, safer communities, and creation of better-paying jobs as priorities.

However, Bucco also remains on the Nov. 5 ballot as a candidate for re-election to the Assembly. Ballots were printed before his father died, and the Morris County Republican Committee then tapped the son to fill the Senate position.

Lisa Bhimani, left, of Mendham, and Darcy Draeger of Chester are Democrats running for Assembly in District 25. Photo by Kevin Coughlin
Lisa Bhimani, left, of Mendham, and Darcy Draeger of Chester are Democrats running for Assembly in District 25. Photo by Kevin Coughlin

If Bucco is re-elected to Assembly, the same GOP committee will appoint someone to replace him there.

That rankles his Assembly opponents, Democrats Lisa Bhimani of Mendham Township and Darcy Draeger of Chester Township, who contend Bucco should have dropped out of that race.

“On behalf of the entire team, I want to congratulate Senator Anthony Bucco on his new job. It’s just too bad he found another way to show his disregard for 25th District residents on his way out,” Bhimani said in a statement, accusing Bucco of participating in a “partisan power grab” that typifies “the self-serving Trenton politics that voters are fed up with.”

Bucco’s Assembly running mate is Brian Bergen of Denville.  He seeks the seat being vacated by Michael Patrick Carroll, who chose instead to run for Morris County Surrogate. Carroll lost that primary race.

The 25th District includes much of Morris County, including Morristown and Morris Township, and a sliver of Sussex Somerset County.

[interactive_copyright_notice float='left']
[icopyright_horizontal_toolbar float='right']


  1. Anyone that thinks a well-off doctor and a horse farm owner are “EXTREME LEFTISTS” has a very strange political compass. Like the South Jersey dems led by Sweeney, these challengers resemble Reagan-era republicans more than anything else. They are against the millionaire’s tax, against giving undocumented residents driver’s licenses, are not against the Norcross-driven EOA/EDA and are most certainly going to look after the well-being of those in their tax bracket, just like Bucco and his friend.

  2. The timing is unfortunate, but what was Anthony Bucco supposed to do? The ballots were already printed and there was no legal way to get a substitute on the ballot at this late date. We are better off electing him and trusting the County Committee to pick a reasonable replacement than letting an Assembly seat fall to one of the extreme leftists who oppose him and who won’t even say if they support the Governor’s budget.

  3. FYI: Sussex County is not part of the 25th district. However, a small portion of Somerset county is part of the 25th.