Prieto Set to Become Speaker on Jan. 14
(TRENTON) – The incoming Assembly Democratic Majority on Thursday chose Vincent Prieto to serve as the new Assembly Speaker.
Prieto will become the 215th Assembly Speaker and the second Cuban American to serve in the leadership post. The Secaucus resident will preside over the 80-member General Assembly. Democrats have held the majority since 2002.
“I am humbled and honored to receive the support of the Assembly Democratic majority,” Prieto said. “As Democrats, we stand tall for a strong middle-class, protecting our most vulnerable, creating jobs, providing a quality education for all and property tax relief. We have made great strides, but more work always remains and new challenges will arise. As Speaker, I will do everything I can to ensure we continue striving to achieve these goals we share with the people of New Jersey. I am excited by the opportunity ahead.”
Prieto (D-Hudson/Bergen) will succeed Sheila Oliver (D-Essex/Passaic), who served as Speaker since 2010.
“Speaker Oliver’s tenure will long be remembered for historic accomplishments, and her graceful leadership served as an example to us all,” Prieto said. “I look forward to working with her as we continue aiming to achieve a more affordable New Jersey for everyone.”
Prieto, of Secaucus, was first sworn into the New Jersey General Assembly in 2004. Born in Cuba, he moved to the United States when he was 10.
Prieto received his certification in construction code technology from Middlesex County College; and his certification in fire code technology from Bergen County Community College. He is a construction code official in Secaucus. He and his wife, Marlene, have two children.
Prieto became Assembly Budget chairman in 2012. He previously had chaired the Assembly Regulated Professions Committee and was Deputy Majority Whip from 2006 to 2011.
He represents the 32nd Legislative District, which includes the Bergen County municipalities of Edgewater and Fairview and the Hudson County municipalities of East Newark, Guttenberg, Harrison, Kearny, North Bergen, Secaucus and West New York.
Prieto will be the second Cuban American to serve as Speaker, following current-U.S. Rep. Albio Sires (D-Hudson), who served as the Speaker from 2002 to 2005.
“I’m committed to using my new position as leader of the People’s House to be a strong advocate for our working families,” Prieto said. “Democrats and Republicans alike must put aside any differences we have to work together for the greater good, and that will be my goal.”
Prieto will be joined in leadership by Lou Greenwald (D-Camden/Burlington), of Voorhees, who will return as Assembly Majority Leader.
“This is a strong leadership team that will build upon the great accomplishments of the Assembly Democratic majority,” Prieto said. “We know we still have more work to do to make New Jersey more affordable for hard-working families struggling under a crushing property tax burden, high unemployment and difficulties such as soaring higher education costs, and we will be tireless when it comes to representing their needs.”
The Assembly’s reorganization is set for Jan. 14.