Four candidates are vying for two two-year terms representing the 14th Legislative District in the state assembly: incumbents Daniel Benson and Wayne DeAngelo, independent Michael Bollentin and Republican challenger Bina Shah.
The winners will represent a district that includes Hamilton, Robbinsville, East Windsor and Hightstown in Mercer County, and Cranbury, Jamesburg, Monroe, Plainsboro and Spotswood in Middlesex County.
Daniel Benson, a Democrat, is a Hamilton resident. He attended Georgetown University, where he earned degrees in physics and government. He also graduated from Rutgers University with a master’s of public policy in science and technology policy. Benson previously served on the Hamilton Township Council from 2002 to 2005 and on the Mercer County Board of Chosen Freeholders from 2008 to 2011. He has been an assemblyman since 2011 and has served as the Deputy Speaker since 2018. He is the chair of the Transportation and Independent Authorities committee, and serves on the budget committee, as well as the health and senior services committee.
Independent candidate Michael Bollentin is a married father of two boys. A resident of Hightstown, he has served 27 years as an EMT. He worked in law enforcement for 16 years, and currently works in the IT and security industry. He coaches wrestling at the the Kreps Middle School in East Windsor. Bollentin’s platform is based on bridging the gaps between the two political parties, and creating a government that is fiscally transparent and that passes purposeful and effective legislation.
Democrat Wayne DeAngelo, a Hamilton resident, currently is serving his sixth term in the state assembly. A graduate of Steinert High School, he attended the Rupert John Trade School, focusing on electrical. He is currently the president and assistant business manager of IBEW Local 269. DeAngelo served on the Hamilton Township Zoning Board from 2000 to 2001 and then served on the township’s council from 2002 to 2005. He was a township planning board member from 2006 to 2007, and he has served on the New Jersey Council on Armed Forces and Veterans Affairs since 2012. DeAngelo has been an assemblyman since 2008 and is currently the Deputy Speaker. He was the Deputy Speaker Pro Tempore from 2010 to 2015. DeAngelo is the chair of the Telecommunications and Utilities Committee and the vice-chair of the Military and Veterans’ Affairs Committee. He serves on the Appropriations Committee.
Bina Shah, a Republican, lives in East Windsor. She works as the broker of record at Legacy Realty LLC, and previously worked as a CPA. Shah has campaigned on a platform of reduced property taxes and improved infrastructure. Shah did not respond to a request for comment, and does not have an active campaign website or social media account, aside from a sparsely populated LinkedIn account.