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Celeste Riley

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Celeste Riley
New Jersey General Assembly District 3
Assumed office
March 7, 2009
Current term ends
January 2012
Political party Democratic
Profession Teacher, Morris Goodwin Elementary School
Website Celeste Riley

Celeste Riley is a Democratic member of the New Jersey General Assembly, representing the 3rd District. She was appointed on March 7, 2009, and won re-election in November 2009.

Riley served as a member of the Bridgeton City Council from 2006-2009. She has an MS in Arts Administration from Drexel University and a BA in Music from LaSalle University. [1]

Assemblywoman Riley and others discuss raw milk sales

Committee assignments


  • A3722 Establishes pilot program in Gloucester County, transferring municipal tax assessment function to county through appointment of a county assessor and deputy county assessors.
  • A3882 Upgrades possession of child pornography to a crime of the third degree; provides for parole supervision for life for production and transmission of child pornography. [2]



See also: New Jersey General Assembly elections, 2011

Riley is running for re-election in 2011. She is bracketed with incumbent John Burzichelli in the Democratic Primary on June 7. The top-two vote getters will advance to the general election on November 8, 2011.[3]

Campaign themes

On their shared campaign website, Riley and Burzichelli list the following five major campaign themes:

  • Protect South Jersey jobs
Excerpt: "John and Celeste are investing in local small businesses to protect jobs and grow South Jersey’s economy. John and Celeste are working to help small business owners by eliminating exorbitant fees, cutting red tape and providing other incentives."
  • Bring home our fair share of state resources
Excerpt: "With all the taxes we pay, South Jersey deserves more than budget leftovers. John and Celeste are a powerful voice making sure we get our fair share of state resources."
  • Cap state spending
Excerpt: "John and Celeste will push for zero-based budgeting, forcing bureaucrats to prove the merit of every dollar they want to spend."
  • Improve access to affordable health care
Excerpt: "...keep insurance affordable by reducing premium costs and lowering administrative expenses. They increased funding for local hospitals, and are committed to ensuring seniors living on fixed incomes can afford need prescription drugs."
  • Prohibit politicians from accepting gifts from lobbyists
Excerpt: "John and Celeste are neighbors and community leaders—not career politicians. That’s why they support legislation that prohibits politicians from accepting gifts from lobbyists. They are advocating for tougher election laws to keep corruption out of our state government."

GOP challenge

NJ Spotlight has identified the 3rd District as a potential place for the GOP to pickup a seat in the Assembly. Following redistricting, 4th District Republican incumbent Domenick DiCicco was moved into the 3rd district. He is running with Bob Villare, who came within 1,300 votes of defeating Riley in 2009. [4]


Running for re-election in the 2009 general election, Riley defeated challengers Lee Lucas and Robert Villare. She was bracketed with John Burzichelli.[5][6]

New Jersey Assembly General Election, Third Legislative District (2009)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png John J. Burzichelli (D) 35,423
Green check mark transparent.png Celeste M. Riley (D) 31,888
Robert Villare (R) 30,526
Lee Lucas (R) 27,316

Major donors

Below are Riley's top 5 campaign contributors in the 2009 election:[7]

Contributor 2009 total
Sweeney Wallace & DiMarco for Freeholder $8,200
New Jersey Regional Council of Carpenters $8,200
Electrical Workers Local 351 $8,200
New Jersey Education Assoc $4,500
Remington & Vernick Engineers $2,600

External links

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Political offices
Preceded by
New Jersey General Assembly District 3
Succeeded by