In the 2003 election, Senator Karcher defeated incumbent Republican Senate Co-President John O. Bennett III, who was plagued by several ethics scandals including confirmed reports of double-billing local municipal governments. Before her election to the Senate, Karcher served on the Marlboro Township Council from 2002 to 2004, where she served as Council President. Karcher resigned from the Marlboro Township Council in January 2004 to take her seat in the Senate.
Karcher served on the Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee (Vice Chair), the Wagering, Tourism and Historic Preservation Committee (Vice Chair), the Transportation Committee and the Joint Legislative Committee on Government Consolidation and Shared Services.
Karcher is the third generation of her family to have served in the New Jersey Legislature. She learned New Jersey politics from her father, the late Alan Karcher, who served in the Assembly from 1973 to 1990 and as Speaker of the Assembly from 1982 to 1985. Her grandfather, Joseph T. Karcher, served in the Assembly from 1930 to 1933.
Karcher is a medical policy and research advisor, having performed data collection and analysis of treatment protocols for physicians in a multi-office practice. In addition, Ms. Karcher has been an adjunct professor at Rutgers University for a number of semesters, teaching various subjects, including courses in mass media and politics, mass political behavior, Congress and the Presidency.
Additionally, Karcher is affiliated with several professional organizations. She is a member of the American Political Science Association as well as a section member of State Politics and Policy. For several years, she has been an active Hospice volunteer and is an active fundraiser for the American Heart Association, the American Cancer Society and CAN. She is also an active member of the Mid Jersey Mothers of Multiples, an organization that meets monthly to discuss the challenges and pleasures of mothering multiple children.
Karcher graduated Magna Cum Laude with a B.A. from Rutgers University with a double major in English and Political Science. She received an M.A. from the Eagleton Institute of Politics at Rutgers University in Political Science and Public Policy. Karcher is a Ph.D. Candidate at Rutgers University in Political Science. As an undergraduate, Karcher was elected to the Phi Beta Kappa honor society and was selected as a Henry Rutgers Scholar, a program designed to bring graduate level work to undergrads. During her masters studies, in addition to teaching undergraduate courses, she was named an Eagleton Fellow.
As of 2006, Karcher is married to Dr. John Hochberg. They have three children: Ben, 21 and twin daughters, Avie and Lael, 13. Karcher and her family are members of Congregation Kol Am, of Freehold.
As of 2010, Karcher is a substitute teacher at an alternative school called Collier High School in Marlboro.
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 12th Legislative District for the 2006-2008 legislative session were:
- Beck wins; Dems control both houses, Asbury Park Press, November 6, 2007. Accessed November 6, 2007.
- Mansnerus, Laura. "Jersey State House Loses Race and Party's Hopes", The New York Times, November 5, 2003. Accessed November 26, 2007. "Mr. Bennett, a moderate Republican who became the highest-ranking Republican officeholder in the state amid Democratic gains in the Senate and General Assembly two years ago, conceded defeat at around 9:30 p.m. following a rough race against Ellen Karcher, Marlboro township's council president, who took 52 percent of the vote. Mr. Bennett got 43 percent, and the Green Party candidate, Earl Gray, received 5 percent."
- Senator Karcher's legislative web page, New Jersey Legislature, copy from Internet Archive dated January 25, 2008. Accessed November 23, 2008.
- Senator Ellen Karcher, New Jersey Senate Democrats. Accessed September 20, 2007.
- Alan Karcher dies at 56, Princeton Packet, July 27, 1999. Accessed September 21, 2007.
- Senator Karcher's Campaign Website
- Senator Karcher's Legislative Website, from Internet Archive as of January 25, 2008
- Senator Ellen Karcher, Project Vote Smart
- New Jersey Senate Democrats website biography of Senator Karcher
- New Jersey Legislature financial disclosure form for 2006 (PDF)
- New Jersey Legislature financial disclosure form for 2005 (PDF)
- New Jersey Legislature financial disclosure form for 2004 (PDF)
|New Jersey Senate|
John O. Bennett
|New Jersey State Senator - 12th Legislative District
2004 - 2008