Barbara Wright (politician)

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Barbara Wright (born August 3, 1933) is an American Republican Party politician who served four terms in the New Jersey General Assembly, from 1992 to 2000, where she represented the 14th Legislative District. A full-time legislator, Wright served as Mayor of Plainsboro Township, New Jersey in 1984 and 1985.

Early career[edit]

Wright earned her undergraduate degree in nursing from Boston College, was awarded a Master of Education from Rutgers University and earned a Master of Arts in nursing education, and doctor of philosophy from New York University. She served on the board of education of the West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional School District from 1974 to 1977, was deputy mayor of Plainsboro Township from 1974 to 1983 and served as the township's mayor in 1984 and 1985.[1]


She was first elected to the Assembly in 1991 with running mate Paul Kramer, knocking off Democratic incumbents Skip Cimino and Peter Cantu. The pair won re-election together in 1993, 1995 and 1997.[2] Wright served in the Assembly as Assistant Majority Whip in 1994 and 1995 and was a Deputy Speaker in 1998 and 1999. She served on the Consumer and Regulated Professions Committee, the Education Committee, and the Health Committee.[1]

Legislation co-sponsored by Wright in 1998 would reduce the dollar value of false insurance claims needed to receive 5 to 10 years in prison and fines of as much as $100,000. With statistics citing that 16% of the average insurance bill was for fraudulent claims, the legislation proposed by Wright would cut the threshold from $75,000 in false claims down to $1,000 in at least five fraudulent claims.[3]

In the 1999 election, Republican incumbents Paul Kramer and Wright were narrowly defeated by Democrats Linda R. Greenstein and Gary Guear, with the incumbents losing votes in Hamilton Township, where Democrat Glen Gilmore won the race for mayor. The two gains were among the three Republicans seats Democrats picked up in the Assembly in the 1999 elections, though the Republicans retained their majority.[4]

In February 2010, Wright announced that she was going to run for the Republican nomination to fill the New Jersey Senate seat vacated by Bill Baroni and filled on an interim basis by Tom Goodwin. Wright cited the lack of Republican women in the Senate — only Diane Allen and Jennifer Beck were serving at the time — as part of her motivation for running. If Wright won the primary she would likely face Democrat Linda Greenstein, who knocked her out of the Assembly in the 1999 elections.[5]


  1. ^ a b Assemblywoman Barbara Wright at the Wayback Machine (archived February 25, 1998), New Jersey Legislature. Accessed June 14, 2010.
  2. ^ NJ Assembly 14 - History, OurCampaignscom. Accessed June 14, 2010.
  3. ^ Staff. "METRO NEWS BRIEFS: NEW JERSEY; Vote Expected Today On Anti-Fraud Measures", The New York Times, January 12, 1998. Accessed June 14, 2010.
  4. ^ Peterson, Iver. "On Politics; Making Headway, Democrats Look Toward Two Big Ones", The New York Times, November 7, 1999. Accessed June 14, 2010.
  5. ^ Friedman, Matt. "Wright says she'll seek Baroni senate seat", Politicker Network, February 25, 2010. Accessed June 14, 2010.