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Vin Gopal (born May 18, 1985) is an American Democratic politician who took office on January 9, 2018 to represent the 11th Legislative District in the New Jersey Senate, which covers portions of Monmouth County. Prior to his election to the Senate, Gopal served as Chairman of the Monmouth County Democratic Party.

Vin Gopal
Vin Gopal.jpg
Member of the New Jersey Senate from the 11th District
Assumed office
January 9, 2018
Preceded byJennifer Beck
Chair of the New Jersey Senate Committee on Military and Veterans Affairs
Assumed office
January 1, 2019
Preceded byTroy Singleton
Personal details
Born (1985-05-18) May 18, 1985 (age 34)
Neptune Township, New Jersey
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceLong Branch, New Jersey

Early LifeEdit

Gopal's family is from Southern India. His parents came to the United States in the early 1970s and settled in New Jersey. Gopal was born in Neptune Township and grew up in Freehold Township.[1] Gopal holds a Bachelor's Degree from Pennsylvania State University and a Master's Degree from Rutgers. He is the founder and president of Direct Development, LLC and owner of the Monmouth County-based Community Magazine.[2] He grew Direct Development to two locations – in Hazlet and Tinton Falls.[3] He is a resident of Long Branch.[4] While in high school and college, Senator Gopal served as a volunteer Emergency Medical Technician and First Responder and Certified First Aid Instructor for the Colts Neck and Freehold First Aid Squads. [5] Gopal served on the Board of Trustees of Big Brothers, Big Sisters of Monmouth County from 2010 to 2012. Gopal previously served on the Board of Directors of the Northern Monmouth Chamber of Commerce, now called the Monmouth County Chamber of Commerce, from 2009 to 2012. From 2010 to 2013, Gopal served as President of the Hazlet Business Owners Association.[6] Gopal is also President of the Vin Gopal Civic Association, a 501c3 organization, which helps local families and charities in need.[7]

New Jersey General Assembly CampaignEdit

In 2011, Gopal, at the age of 26, ran for the office of Assembly in the 11th Legislative District alongside Red Bank Councilwoman Kathleen Horgan. Gopal and Horgan were defeated by Republican incumbents Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini.[8]

Monmouth Democratic PartyEdit

The following year, Gopal ran for Chairman of the Monmouth County Democratic Organization. He was elected Chairman with 73% of the vote.[9] As Chairman, Gopal led the 2015 campaign for General Assembly, where he helped oust Republican incumbents Caroline Casagrande and Mary Pat Angelini by newcomers Eric Houghtaling and Joann Downey, in what was widely considered a major upset. [10] As Chairman, Gopal was featured in PolitickerNJ.com's 100 Most Powerful people in New Jersey Politics in 2015 and 2016. [11] In 2017, Gopal resigned the Chairmanship, announcing his intention to run for Senate in the 11th Legislative District against Republican incumbent Jennifer Beck.[12] Gopal ran alongside first-term Democratic incumbents Assemblyman Eric Houghtaling and Assemblywoman Joann Downey.[13]

New Jersey SenateEdit

In November 2017, Gopal was elected to the State Senate.[14] Gopal is the first Indian-American to be elected to New Jersey's State Senate,[15] and his victory was described by NJ.com as "perhaps the biggest upset of the night."[16] Gopal won by 4,158 votes – dramatically outperforming Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Phil Murphy. Gopal won numerous towns which Murphy lost, including Eatontown and Ocean Township.[17] On January 9, 2018, shortly after his swearing-in, Gopal was appointed Vice-Chairman of the Senate Transportation Committee as well as a member of the Economic Growth Committee and Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens Committee. He is currently the youngest member of the New Jersey State Senate.[18] On April 4, 2018, Gopal was named Senate Majority Conference Leader and Chairman of the Bipartisan Legislative Manufacturing Caucus. Gopal took both positions from Senator Robert M. Gordon, who resigned to accept a position with the BPU.[19]. On January 1st of 2019, Gopal was appointed Chairman of the Senate Military and Veterans Affairs Committee. [20]

CommitteesEdit

  • Military and Veterans' Affairs
  • Higher Education
  • Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens

District 11Edit

Each of the 40 districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 11th District for the current Legislative Session are:[21]

Electoral HistoryEdit

SenateEdit

New Jersey general election, 2017[22]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Vin Gopal 31,308 53.6   14.8
Republican Jennifer Beck 27,150 46.4   13.6
Total votes 58,458 100.0

AssemblyEdit

New Jersey general election, 2011[23]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Caroline Casagrande 18,739 26.8
Republican Mary Pat Angelini 18,479 26.4
Democratic Vin Gopal 15,392 22.0
Democratic Kathleen Horgan 15,060 21.5
Demand A Voice Daniel Jacobson 2,358 3.4
Total votes 70,028 100.0

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Staff. "Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal To Seek Beck's Senate Seat", The Monmouth Journal, January 2, 2017. Accessed November 28, 2017. "Born in Neptune Township and raised in Freehold Township, Gopal says that it is time for new leadership to tackle New Jersey's grave fiscal problems."
  2. ^ "Vin Gopal, LinkedIn".
  3. ^ "Home". Direct Development: Design + Communications. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  4. ^ "Meet Vin".
  5. ^ "Gopal Makes His Senate Candidacy Official in LD11". Observer. 2017-01-03. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  6. ^ "Vin Gopal Biography". Vote Smart.
  7. ^ "Home". Vin Gopal Civic Association. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  8. ^ Van Embden, Edward. "District 11 Democratic Challengers Look Ahead Following Defeat". Red Bank Patch.
  9. ^ Pizarro, Max. "Gopal beats LaRocca to lead Monmouth Dems".
  10. ^ "The Dynamics of the LD11 Win Heading Into 2016". Observer. 2015-11-04. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  11. ^ "Vin Gopal, Indian American included in Top 100 in Power List 2015". South Brunswick, NJ Patch. 2015-11-29. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  12. ^ Pizarro, Max. "Gopal Makes His Senate Candidacy Official in LD11". Observer.
  13. ^ "Legislative District 11". NJ Spotlight.
  14. ^ "General Election Results, 2017".
  15. ^ Dutt, Ela. ""Mara Chokra Ne Jitadvo Che," Indian-Americans win key seats in New Jersey". News India Times.
  16. ^ Sullivan, S.P.; Johnson, Brent. "N.J. election results 2017: How the dramatic legislative races shook out". NJ.com.
  17. ^ "New Jersey Department of State - Division of Elections - 2017 Election Information Archive". www.njelections.org. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  18. ^ "Vin Gopal (D)". www.njleg.state.nj.us. Retrieved 2018-01-15.
  19. ^ https://www.insidernj.com/press-release/sweeney-names-diegnan-singleton-gopal-leadership-positions/
  20. ^ https://newjerseyglobe.com/fr/sweeney-ousts-stack-gill-from-judiciary-committee/
  21. ^ ""New Jersey Legislative Districts".
  22. ^ "2017-official-general-election-results-state-senate.pdf" (PDF). New Jersey Secretary of State. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
  23. ^ "2011-official-gen-elect-gen-assembly-results-121411.pdf" (PDF). sussex.nj.us. Retrieved 2 April 2019.
New Jersey Senate
Preceded by
Jennifer Beck
Member of the New Jersey Senate for the 11th District
January 9, 2018 – present
Succeeded by
Incumbent