Karabinchak to fill Assembly seat

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BY KATHY CHANG
Staff Writer

TRENTON — Edison Councilman Robert Karabinchak will fill the vacant seat in the 18th Legislative District.

Members of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization [MCDO] met on May 12 at Middlesex County College in Edison to select a candidate for the seat, which was left vacant when long-time Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan was appointed to fill Peter Barnes III seat in the state Senate on May 9.

Barnes vacated the Senate seat last month after being sworn in as a state Superior Court Judge last month.

Diegnan, who will serve as a member of three Senate Committees — Budget and Appropriations, Law and Public Safety and State Government, Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation — said he was excited to continue his work to make New Jersey a better place to live and work for residents and for future generations.

“I look forward to working with my colleagues to advance policies that will secure a brighter tomorrow for our residents,” he said.

Karabinchak, who had received endorsements from Edison Mayor Thomas Lankey, Middlesex County Freeholder Charles Tomaro, Edison Democratic Committee Chairman Keith Hahn, and four Edison council members Michael R. Lombardi, Alvaro Gomez, Ajay Patil and Leonard D. Sendelsky, received the highest amount of votes during the MCDO selection.

Edison Councilman Robert Diehl, who had initially expressed interest in the Assembly seat, also threw his support behind Karabinchak.

Karabinchak was one of three candidates who expressed interest in the Assembly seat including fellow Edison Council member Sapana Shah, Elsie Foster Dublin, a Highland Park Councilwoman, and Matthew Vaughn, a South River councilman.

“I’m proud to be the voice [of the 18th district] and I’m looking forward to working in Trenton with my new colleagues,” he said.

Karabinchak said once he is sworn in as Assemblyman, he will vacate his council seat in Edison.

He has served on the council for eight years and won re-election in 2015. He has owned a general contracting business for more than 30 years.

Karabinchak has said he believes he will be a positive voice for the people of Middlesex County.

He said as a member of the Assembly he would like to continue his efforts on statewide property tax reform and regulating tax appeals.

The 18th Legislative District consists of the Middlesex County communities of East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen, South Plainfield and South River.