By Wally Edge | July 22nd, 2009 - 3:33pm
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Barbara Buono will become the first woman to run on a Democratic ticket for statewide office since Thelma Parkinson sought a United States Senate seat in 1930, if Jon Corzine picks her to run for Lt. Governor.

The Senator from New Jersey was Walter Edge, who resigned in November 1929 to become the U.S. Ambassador to France.  The Governor, Morgan Larson, appointed David Baird, a Camden County businessman, to serve as a caretaker Senator. 

Edge's resignation triggered two separate races in November 1930: a special election to fill the remaining two months of Edge's term; and a contest for a full six-year Senate term.

Republicans nominated the same candidate for both campaigns: Englewood industrialist Dwight Morrow, who was serving as the U.S. Ambassador to Mexico. Morrow won 71% of the vote in a three-way primary with three-term U.S. Rep. Franklin Fort (21%) and former U.S. Senator Joseph Frelinghuysen (8%). President Herbert Hoover backed Morrow.

Democrats picked Alexander Simpson, a four-term State Senator from Hudson County and an ally of Jersey City Mayor Frank Hague, to run for the full term.  But instead of nominating Simpson to face off against Morrow in the special, Democrats chose to court the relatively new woman's vote by running Thelma Parkinson, a 32-year-old Democratic State Committeewoman from Vineland and a protégé of U.S. Rep. Mary Norton (D-Jersey City).

Morrow won both races, beating Parkinson and Simpson by 59%-39% margins.

Parkinson later married Howard Sharp, a State Senator from Cumberland County, and served on the state Civil Service Commission.  She died in 1983 having never run for office again.

For extreme junkies: Morrow was the father-in-law of aviator Charles Lindbergh.

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"Our future Senate President someday. We're going to keep banging away at that, Tom." - Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-26), referring to Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-21).

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