Maria Rodriguez-Gregg

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Maria Rodriguez-Gregg
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly
from the 8th Legislative District
In office
January 14, 2014 – January 9, 2018
Preceded byScott Rudder
Succeeded byRyan Peters
Personal details
Born (1981-09-29) September 29, 1981 (age 38)
Fort Carson, Colorado
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceEvesham Township, New Jersey
Alma materB.A. Rutgers University–Camden (economics)

Maria Rodriguez-Gregg (born September 29, 1981) is an American Republican Party politician who served in the New Jersey General Assembly from 2014 to 2018, representing the 8th Legislative District. She succeeded Scott Rudder to become the first Republican Hispanic woman to be elected to the New Jersey Legislature.

Early life and career[edit]

Rodriguez-Gregg is of Puerto Rican descent. She grew up in Willingboro Township and Burlington, New Jersey. Both of her parents served in the military.[1]

Rodriguez-Gregg served as president of the Burlington County Young Republicans.[2] She worked in the dental field as a dental assistant, and then became an instructor, training dentists in new practices, and managed dental offices.[3] In addition, she serves on the board of trustees for Burlington County College, was on the board of directors for Habitat for Humanity of Burlington County for two years,[4] and is a member of the Civil Air Patrol.[3] In 2013, she graduated from Rutgers University-Camden with a bachelor's degree in economics.[1]

The Burlington County Republicans suggested to Rodriguez-Gregg that she should run for the Assembly in the 2013 elections, to succeed Scott Rudder, who was retiring.[4] She and incumbent Christopher J. Brown were endorsed by the Republican Party and defeated two challengers affiliated with the Tea Party movement in the June primary election.[5] Rodriguez-Gregg and Brown both won in the general election in November,[6] and she became the first Republican Hispanic woman to serve in the New Jersey Legislature.[7]

In the 2016 United States Presidential election, Rodriguez-Gregg, then New Jersey's only Republican Hispanic state lawmaker, declined to endorse Republican Presidential nominee Donald Trump, stating, "I think it's my whole life experience that leads me to not being able to support him."[8][9]

Arrest and aftermath[edit]

On April 28, 2017, Rodriguez-Gregg was arrested following a traffic accident in which her car, while stopped at a traffic light, was struck in the rear bumper by another vehicle. Rodriguez-Gregg was charged with driving while intoxicated (marijuana and/or alcohol), obstruction of justice (for refusing a field sobriety test), reckless driving, and a marked lanes violation. The other driver was charged with careless driving. Both drivers were treated for minor injuries.[10][11]

Four months after her arrest, Rodriguez-Gregg withdrew from her campaign seeking re-election in the upcoming November 2017 New Jersey election.[12][13] The following month, local media outlets obtained and released body camera video footage of the arrest.[14][15]

Rodriguez-Gregg has maintained her innocence. No marijuana or alcohol was found by police in her vehicle. According to her attorney, Rodriguez-Gregg's blood test showed "some indication of alcohol", or a "minimal" presence of alcohol, but no marijuana.[16][17] In December 2017, the court denied Rodriguez-Gregg's motions to suppress evidence collected by the police and dismiss the charges against her.[17][18]

In January 2018, Rodriguez-Gregg claimed that she was a survivor of domestic abuse that had been occurring at the time of her arrest.[19][20] In a Facebook post and several media interviews, Rodriguez-Gregg shared details of her alleged abuse and photographs of her face with multiple bruises, and urged support for pending legislation that strengthened penalties for domestic violence.[21][22][23] In response, some local media outlets described Rodriguez-Gregg as "courageous" for publicly discussing her domestic violence abuse.[24][25]

Personal Life[edit]

Rodriguez-Gregg lives in Evesham Township, New Jersey. She is a player for a roller derby team, called the "Dishonor Roll" and She-Devils Travel Team, in the Penn Jersey Roller Derby league,[1][26] where she goes by the name "Honeybee".[3][26][27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "The PolitickerNJ.com Interview: LD 8 Republican hopeful Maria Rodriguez Gregg". Politicker NJ. March 28, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  2. ^ Hayes, Melissa (October 12, 2008). "Bickering among county's Young Republicans club". Burlington County Times. pp. 1, 8. Retrieved November 11, 2013. (subscription required)
  3. ^ a b c Edelstein, Jeff (November 15, 2013). "New Jersey politics, meet this young, roller derby playing mom". Trentonian.com. Retrieved December 2, 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Freshmen face novices in the Eighth District - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. November 3, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  5. ^ "Burlco tea partyers lose to GOP regulars - Philly.com". Articles.philly.com. June 6, 2013. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  6. ^ Comegno, Carol (November 6, 2013). "Incumbents dominate in South Jersey districts". Courier-Post. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  7. ^ "Rising star: Maria Rodriguez-Gregg". Asbury Park Press. April 21, 2013. Retrieved November 9, 2013.
  8. ^ "N.J.'s lone Hispanic GOP lawmaker won't back Trump, report says". NJ.com. June 22, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  9. ^ "N.J.'s only Hispanic Republican lawmaker won't support Trump". Politico. June 22, 2016. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  10. ^ "What we know about lawmaker". NJ.com. September 18, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  11. ^ "Rodriguez-Gregg Charged With Marijuana DWI". Observer. May 12, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  12. ^ "Rodriguez-Gregg Drops Out of Assembly Race". Observer. August 30, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  13. ^ "End of an era: New Jersey lawmakers pay tribute to departing Sen. Diane Allen". Burlington County Times. August 30, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  14. ^ "WATCH: Assemblywoman Rodriguez-Gregg calls cops 'f**king a**holes' during DWI arrest". The Trentonian. September 15, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  15. ^ "State lawmaker unleashes vulgar tirade during arrest". NJ.com. October 23, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  16. ^ "NJ assemblywoman to fight Mount Laurel DWI, obstruction charges". Burlington County Times. May 11, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  17. ^ a b "Judge orders Assemblywoman Rodriguez-Gregg to stand trial for DWI, obstruction". Burlington County Times. December 1, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  18. ^ "DWI case against N.J. lawmaker who went on vulgar rant can proceed, judge says". NJ.com. December 5, 2017. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  19. ^ "'I was unraveling' after traumatic domestic abuse, says ex-legislator". NJ.com. January 11, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  20. ^ "Assemblywoman: I was the victim of domestic violence". New Jersey 101.5. January 8, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  21. ^ Rodriguez-Gregg, Maria (January 8, 2017). "Last night, I had a young woman reach out to me..." Facebook.com. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  22. ^ "Outgoing NJ Assemblywoman Rodriguez-Gregg: I was a domestic violence victim". The Trentonian. January 9, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  23. ^ "Domestic violence – Why NJ lawmaker finally told her story". New Jersey 101.5. January 17, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  24. ^ "Former New Jersey assemblywoman reveals she was a victim of domestic abuse". Fox 29. January 11, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "A twist of courage in N.J. lawmaker's cop-stop case / Editorial". NJ.com. January 14, 2018. Retrieved November 12, 2018.
  26. ^ a b "Assembly Republicans Optimistic They Can Regain Majority Over Democrats | NJTV News with Mike Schneider | Public Media New Jersey". Njtvonline.org. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
  27. ^ "The PolitickerNJ.com Interview: Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez Gregg". Politicker NJ. February 3, 2015. Retrieved February 20, 2015.

External links[edit]

New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Scott Rudder
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 8th District
January 14, 2014 – January 9, 2018
With: Christopher J. Brown, Joe Howarth
Succeeded by
Ryan Peters