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Does Being a Widow Qualify You for Being in Office?

Ultimately, probably no more or less than anything else does. Since the death of Assembly Minority Leader Alex DeCroce, it’s come out that his widow Betty Lou was interested in the job. Yesterday, she formally announced herself as a candidate.

Tim Larsen, Governor's Office

I know some have asked how simply having been married to him qualifies her for the position. She holds the position of Deputy Commissioner of Community Affairs in Gov. Christie’s administration.

Even if you say that was one friend giving another friend a job, you cannot deny she’s been around the Trenton scene for a long time, and given that, she’s had to pick up on a lot. Besides, do you realize how often a widow has directly succeeded their late husbands in the U.S. Congress? It’s happened 46 times. Yeah, I was surprised too.

One of the more recent was Jean Carnahan, former first lady of Missouri, appointed to the senate seat left vacant by the death of her husband Gov. Mel Carnahan. Remember when Sonny Bono died in the ski accident? His wife, Mary Bono Mack, was elected in special election to fill his seat, and she’s retained it ever since. The list goes back to the 1920’s.

So for all who say it’s nothing but emotionalism in play, remember it’s hardly anything new.

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