Sen. Troy Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra, was named chairman of the panel Wednesday by Senate President Stephen Sweeney as part of a leadership shuffle in the wake of Sen. Bob Gordon’s announced retirement.
TRENTON — State Sen. Troy Singleton has been serving in the Legislature’s upper chamber for just over three months, but he is already being named to a key leadership post as chair of the Senate’s Military and Veterans Affairs Committee.
Singleton, D-7th of Palmyra, was named chairman of the panel Wednesday by Senate President Stephen Sweeney as part of a leadership shuffle in the wake of Sen. Bob Gordon’s announced retirement.
Gordon, D-38th of Fair Lawn, was nominated by Gov. Phil Murphy to sit on the state Board of Public Utilities on Thursday. He had served as chair of the Senate Transportation Committee.
In the wake of Gordon’s retirement, Sweeney moved Sen. Patrick Diegnan, D-18th of South Plainfield, from chair of the Military and Veterans Affairs Committee to head of the Transportation Committee, and then elevated Singleton as Diegnan’s replacement.
“As the grandson of a World War II Navy veteran, I am acutely aware of our nation’s commitment to its veterans and their families, who have sacrificed to preserve our freedom. I cherish this bond and recognize the duty that those of us who have benefited from the protection and security that these patriots have made possible owe for their service and sacrifice,” Singleton said in a statement. “This sacred bond, which we have with our veterans, demand that we honor their service by treating them every day with the dignity and respect that these patriots deserve.
The leadership post is Singleton’s second since he was sworn into the Senate in January after spending the previous six years in the Assembly. He is also vice chairman of the Senate’s Economic Growth Committee and a member of the powerful Senate Budget and Appropriations and Legislative Oversight committees.
Singleton is no stranger to veterans and military issues. During his years in the Assembly, he was the sponsor of several measures impacting veterans, including measures to provide tax credits to businesses that hire veterans and to caregivers who assist wounded veterans, as well as legislation that became law to cut red tape for veterans and help active-duty service members’ spouses gain certification to become teachers and nurses if they were certified in another state.
Burlington County is the home to close to 30,000 veterans, or about 8 percent of the county’s adult population, which is among the highest concentration of veterans in the state, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is also located in the county, and is home to more than 40,000 service members and civilian employees, making it the state’s second largest employer.
Singleton said the appointment would help him advocate on behalf of the base and its many veterans.
“I look forward to accepting the challenge of living up to this sacred obligation to our state’s veterans in this new capacity,” he said.