Letter from Senator Barbara Buono on decision to not seek re-election as Majority Leader

Dear Colleagues:

Two years ago, I was honored to be selected as the first woman to serve as Senate Majority Leader in New Jersey history.

This was an important milestone for our state, which has always led the nation in promoting diversity and inclusion. It was an important milestone for the Democratic Party, which quite literally relies on women to maintain its electoral majorities.  And, it was a great personal milestone for me.

But I never thought a title was more important than a set of principles. I never believed that being in a particular position was more valuable than being true to yourself and to those who elect you.  Majority Leader is a position that demands concessions be made – concessions I am unwilling to make when I do not believe that they are right for this state and this party.

The idea of creating a co-majority Leader is both bad politics and bad policy.  It would be a terrible precedent to set, diminishing the position.  One cannot help but note that this only came up when the first woman held the job.

Therefore, in anticipation of Thursday’s caucus meeting, I am announcing that I will not seek re-election as Majority Leader.

This is not about intrigue and innuendo.  This is about clarity.  Tuesday’s legislative elections underscore the reality that the people of New Jersey demand a check on the Governor.   I am proud to serve as an independent voice defending our core Democratic principles.

I thank you for your trust and friendship in bestowing on me the honor of breaking an historical glass ceiling. And I look forward to breaking many more.

Barbara Buono

(Cross-posted at Daily Kos)

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