(TRENTON) – Former Essex County Freeholder Blonnie R. Watson received the oath of office on Thursday from Assembly Speaker Vincent Prieto to become a member of the New Jersey General Assembly.
Assemblywoman Watson takes the seat of former Assemblywoman L. Grace Spencer upon her departure to become a state Superior Court Judge.
“Blonnie has been a longtime, esteemed public servant in the 29th legislative district,” said Speaker Prieto (D-Bergen/Hudson). “I look forward to her input as we continue our work in this legislative session.”
Watson will join her colleague Assemblywoman Eliana Pintor-Marin, who also represents the 29th Legislative District, which encompasses municipalities in Essex County.
“It is an honor and a privilege to join my fellow legislators in Trenton,” said Watson (D-Essex). “I’ve represented Essex County as a freeholder with pride and determination to improve the lives of residents. I will do the same in the Assembly for district residents and the people of New Jersey.”
Watson retired in 2015 after a distinguished career of 18 years as an Essex County Freeholder. She is a housing advocate and has served on several boards in Newark, including the Board of Adjustment and Zoning, Safe Neighborhood Action Plan, and the Love Newark Committee.
A Newark native, Watson was elected to her first term as a Freeholder At-Large in 1996, and was re-elected in 1999, 2002, 2005, 2008 and 2011. She served as Freeholder Vice President for five consecutive years from 1998-2002, and as Board President for the eighth years.
She currently resides in Newark in the Central Ward.