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Erik C. Peterson (born March 8, 1966) is an American Republican Party politician who serves in the New Jersey General Assembly representing the 23rd legislative district. Peterson, who previously served on the Hunterdon County Board of Chosen Freeholders, replaced Assemblyman Michael J. Doherty, who was elected to the New Jersey Senate. He was sworn in on December 7, 2009 to fill Doherty's vacant Assembly seat.
Peterson was born and raised in Cherry Hill, New Jersey. He attended North Carolina State University and earned a bachelor’s degree in business management in 1988. In 1990, he moved in Hunterdon County to work for the Beneficial Management Corporation. Recruited for the Accelerated Management Program at that company, he eventually ran the New Jersey operations of Beneficial’s mortgage banking subsidiary. He then attended Temple University Beasley School of Law, graduating in 1996. That same year he was admitted to the bar in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Peterson now has his own law office in Readington, specializing in real estate law, estate law, and business law. He currently resides in Franklin Township with his wife Jenni and their four children. He is a member of the Hunterdon County Chamber of Commerce and the local Lions Club. He is on the board of the local United Way.
Peterson’s career in politics began with his appointment as a Republican County Committeeman for Lambertville, where he then resided. Peterson spent several years on the County Committee, only recently leaving that position. Peterson is also a former president of the Hunterdon County Young Republicans. Peterson was elected a Hunterdon County freeholder in 2005, running on a platform of fiscal conservatism, farmland preservation, and open government.
Peterson spearheaded efforts to reduce county spending. As freeholder director, he successfully pushed for passage of a 2008 budget that was $2.5 million less than the 2007 budget. During Peterson’s tenure as a freeholder, Hunterdon County has preserved more total farms and more acres of farmland than any other county. Peterson was also successful in pushing for the publication of the minutes of the board’s executive sessions, which had not been done in 25 years.
2009 Assembly race
In 2009, Republican Assemblyman Michael J. Doherty challenged State Senator Marcia A. Karrow in the Republican primary for the special election in the 23rd district. Doherty defeated Karrow, thus receiving the Republican nomination in the special election. Doherty’s chief of staff, Edward Smith, ran against Peterson for the Republican nomination to the seat being vacated by Doherty. Peterson won and appeared on the November ballot as the new running mate of incumbent Republican Assemblyman John DiMaio. DiMaio and Peterson won easily in the heavily Republican 23rd district.
Peterson was elected to a full Assembly term beginning January 3, 2010. However, Doherty was sworn in as State Senator on November 23, 2009, necessitating a convention of Republican county committee members to name a successor for the vacancy. Peterson was selected by the county committee members on December 6, 2009 and sworn into office the following day.
Each of the forty districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 23rd District for the 2010–2011 Legislative Session are:
- Wichert, Bill (2009-11-04). "Republican Michael Doherty wins New Jersey Senate post; GOP running mates John DiMaio and Erik Peterson capture state Assembly seats". The Express-Times. Retrieved 2009-11-06.
- "Clinton Twp.'s Tom Borkowski seeks Peterson's Freeholder job". The Hunterdon County Democrat. 2009-11-16. Retrieved 2009-11-17.
- Wichert, Bill (2009-11-23). "Michael Doherty sworn in as new state senator representing Warren, Hunterdon counties". The Express-Times. Retrieved 2009-11-23.
- "Erik Peterson sworn in early to two-year term in New Jersey Assembly". The Express-Times. 2009-12-07. Retrieved 2010-01-11.
|New Jersey General Assembly|
Michael J. Doherty
|New Jersey State Assemblyman - District 23
December 7, 2009 - present