(TRENTON) – Heather Simmons and Dave Bailey, Jr. received the oath of office from Assembly Speaker Craig J. Coughlin on Tuesday to become members of the New Jersey General Assembly. The pair now represents the 3rd Legislative District in Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland Counties.
“The large and talented incoming cohort of Assembly members is set to propel New Jersey forward and Heather and Dave make a phenomenal addition to that group,” said Speaker Coughlin (D-Middlesex). “Their focus on kitchen table topics such as food security and education will benefit New Jerseyans all over the state as we focus on these and other important issues in the upcoming session.”
As a four-term Gloucester County Commissioner, Simmons is the longest-serving female Commissioner in the county’s history and the first woman elected Deputy Director to the Board of Commissioners. She has worked in public education for more than 30 years and currently serves as Vice President for Strategic Planning and Institutional Advancement at Rowan College of South Jersey. In 2021, Simmons launched the Gloucester County Economic Recovery Collaborative, which focused on post-pandemic economic resilience, especially for South Jersey’s small business community and high-growth industry sectors.
“Affordable, accessible, quality higher education has been a top priority for me throughout my career in public service,” said Assemblywoman Simmons (D-Gloucester, Salem, and Cumberland). “I know that many of my colleagues in the Assembly share that enthusiasm and I can’t wait to work with them to leave an indelible mark on our state’s top-notch public education system.”
Simmons earned her Master of Arts degree in Public Relations from Rowan University and her Bachelor of Arts degree from Saint Joseph’s University. She lives in Glassboro.
Bailey is the Chief Executive Officer of Ranch Hope, Inc. a faith-based nonprofit. Under his leadership, a team of 200 staff members works to foster environments that transform the lives of children, youths, and families in South Jersey. A lifelong resident of Salem County, he volunteers with Meals on Wheels, is a member of the Rotary Club of Woodstown, and sits on the boards of several local organizations.
“I’m excited to join a great group of colleagues to build on the positive changes the Assembly Democrats have made under Speaker Coughlin’s leadership,” said Assemblyman Bailey (D-Gloucester, Salem and Cumberland). “I’ve had a lifelong passion for helping others in my community and this new role will allow me to help even more people in the 3rd Legislative District and beyond in the years ahead.”
Bailey earned his Master of Science degree in non-profit management from Eastern University and his Bachelor of Science degree in Administration of Justice from Penn State University. He resides in Woodstown with his wife Julie. The couple has three grown children.