Legislative District 12

Senator Samuel D. Thompson (R)
Assembly Members Ronald S. Dancer (R)
Robert D. Clifton (R)
Registration 25.2% Democratic
25.1 Republican
49.3 unaffiliated
Demographics 80.4% White
5.2% Black/African American
0.2% Native American
8.5% Asian
0.0% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
3.7% Other race
1.8% Two or more races
11.1% Hispanic
Population 235,457
Voting-age population 175,625
Registered Voters 149,625

Chesterfield Township

New Hanover Township

Wrightstown Borough

Old Bridge Township

Allentown Borough

Englishtown Borough

Manalapan Township

Matawan Borough

Millstone Township

Roosevelt Borough

Upper Freehold Township

Jackson Township

Plumsted Township

Senator Samuel D. Thompson

  • Thompson was born in Mobile, Alabama and attended public schools in Alabama, Louisiana, and Arkansas. He reached the rank of Specialist Third Class while serving in the U.S. Army from 1955 through 1957. He received a B.S. in 1960 from the University of Arkansas in chemistry and mathematics and was awarded a Ph.D. in 1965 from Louisiana State University in physical chemistry.
  • He worked as a research chemist at duPont and J.P. Stevens and Company and was employed by the New Jersey Department of Health from 1972-1994 as a chemist and director of clinical laboratory improvement service. He served on the United States Armed Forces Epidemiological Board from 1983-1990. He was appointed by then Governor of New Jersey Christine Todd Whitman to serve on the Governor’s Education Task Force in 1994 as Co-Chair. He served on the New Jersey Turnpike Authority from 1994-1997 as director of communications and formerly as director of planning, analysis and government relations. Thompson has served on the New Jersey Advisory Council on Elder Care since 1998, served on the Continuing Care Advisory Council from 1998-2002 and on the New Jersey State Council for Adult Literacy Services from 2000-2002.
  • Thompson was chair of the Middlesex County Republican Organization from 1987 until 1994 and was a delegate to every Republican National Convention from 1988 through 2012.
  • Thompson was first elected to the General Assembly in 1997 in the northern Monmouth County and northeastern Middlesex County-based 13th district. He served as the Assistant Republican Assembly Leader from 2004-05. He served in the Assembly on the Appropriations Committee and the Human Services Committee.
  • Following the reapportionment of the legislative districts for the 2010 Census, Thompson’s hometown of Old Bridge was moved to the new 12th district which was spread across the counties of Burlington, Ocean, Monmouth, and Middlesex. The four Republican county committees endorsed Thompson to be the Senator from the new district and was elected in the 2011 general election defeating Democrat Robert “Bob” Brown. He sits on three Senate committees (Budget and Appropriations, Environment and Energy, and State Government, Wagering, Tourism & Historic Preservation) and two joint committees (Housing Affordability and Public Schools).
  • He currently resides in Old Bridge Township, New Jersey and is married to the former Jacqueline P. Haycock.

Assemblyman Robert D. Clifton

  • Clifton was born and raised in Matawan, where he attended local elementary schools and St. John Vianney High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science at Rider College (now Rider University) and a master’s degree in political science at the University of Richmond.
  • He has been employed by Comcast Cable Corp. as Director of Government and Community Affairs since 2001. Prior to that, Clifton was Director of Industry Relations for the New Jersey Pavement and Asphalt Association, where he acted as liaison between the trade association and municipalities throughout the state regarding road improvement issues. He also served as an assistant to the Deputy Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and a legislative aide to former Assemblyman Michael Arnone.
  • Clifton was the mayor of Matawan from 1996 until 2005. He was appointed mayor in October 1996 upon the resignation of Robert Shuey. In addition, he served on the borough’s unified Planning Board and Zoning Board of Adjustment, the Board of Health, and the Monmouth County Board of Drug & Alcohol Abuse Services. He also served as chairman of the Bayshore Conference of Mayors. To focus fully on his newly elected Freeholder position, he resigned from his mayoral post on January 18, 2005.
  • As Freeholder, Clifton oversaw Finance and Information Technology which includes Department of Finance, the Monmouth County Improvement Authority, Information Technology Services, Department of Purchasing, Records Management and the County Treasurer. Clifton served three terms on the Board of Chosen Freeholders, elected in 2004, 2007, and 2010. In 2008, he served as Deputy Director of the Board; Clifton was succeeded in that post by John D’Amico, Jr. in 2009. At the January 7, 2010 annual reorganization, he was again chosen as Deputy Director and at the January 6, 2011 annual reorganization, he was chosen as Director.
  • In 2011, after legislative redistricting, Clifton ran for the Assembly seat in the 12th District that was opened when Samuel D. Thompson ran for New Jersey Senate.He and his running mate Ronald S. Dancer defeated the Democratic candidates, William Spedding and Catherine Tinney Rome, in the general election. He was sworn in on January 10, 2012.
  • Clifton lives in Matawan with his wife Tracy and his two sons.

Assemblyman Ronald S. Dancer

  • Dancer attended the Peddie School, Wesley College (majoring in Business Administration) and the Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy at Rutgers University. He also served in the United States Army from 1969 to 1971
  • Dancer’s first elected office was serving on the Plumsted Township committee. He was chosen as mayor in 1990 and continued to be selected for one-year terms until 2011 when he retired from the committee.[ He has served on the Ocean County Board of Social Services since 1997 (as Chair), the Ocean County Natural Lands and Farmland Preservation Advisory Committee since 1998 and the Ocean County Senior Services Advisory Council since 2002. He was on the New Jersey Horse Racing Commission from 1999 to 2002.
  • After retiring as mayor, he now serves as the business administrator for Plumsted Township.For a period of time, he held two elected positions—Plumsted Township committeeperson and Assemblyman. This dual position, often called double dipping, was allowed under a grandfather clause in the state law enacted by the New Jersey Legislature and signed into law by Governor of New Jersey Jon Corzine in September 2007 that prevented dual-office-holding but allows those who had held both positions as of February 1, 2008, to retain both posts.
  • In November 2002, Republican County Committee representatives from the 30th Legislative District (which at the time was made up of portions of Burlington, Mercer, Monmouth, and Ocean counties) chose Dancer to fill the vacancy created by Melvin Cottrell’s death; Dancer defeated Howell Township Councilmember Joseph DiBella by a 106–72 margin. He had been re-elected to two year terms four times from the 30th District before winning twice from the 12th District.
  • Dancer serves in the Assembly Agriculture and Natural Resources, the Labor, and the Tourism, Gaming and the Arts committees.