TRENTON, NJ — With the state government’s shutdown dominating the headlines during the Fourth of July holiday, there was news from Trenton that received little attention: Assemblyman David Rible officially left his elected post to become director of the state Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control (ABC).
Both Republicans and Democrats on July 4 took the time during the early-morning hours to recognize and bid farewell to Rible (R-Monmouth), who has represented the 30th Legislative District which includes Belmar and Lake Como.
“There is no one more willing to work with everyone here than Dave Rible, and there’s no one more committed to his family — his daughter and his wife — than Dave Rible,” said GOP Minority Leader Jon Bramnick in comments reported by InsiderNJ. “He is the essence of a New Jerseyan, a guy who’s fun, fun-loving, witty, smart, passionate.”
As minority leader, Bramnick (R-Union) worked closely with Rible, who served as Assembly Republican Conference leader. “I want to thank him for his service to New Jersey, I want to thank him for his friendship, I want to thank him for being a leader in this Legislature, someone who taught all of us how to interact with each other,” Bramnick said.
Majority Leader Louis Greenwald (D-Burlington) referenced their joint work on the Transportation Trust Fund and Rible’s bipartisan reputation: “You are an example to everyone, Republicans and Democrats, of what it means to cross party lines. You will be sorely missed here.”
Assemblyman Sean Kean (R-Monmouth) who also represents the 30th District, congratulated his departing district-mate, saying, “You represented District 11 and then District 30 with passion and integrity, and brought a great set of skills to the district. I want to congratulate you on your new endeavor and I know you won’t be far.”
Rible, who has served in the Assembly since 2008, kept it short, brief and poignant, lightheartedly joking about the late time, according to Insider NJ, a nonpartisan website dedicated to political news in the state of New Jersey. “It’s not a question of what time people get home, it’s about last call,” he said, giving the tired chamber members a well-needed laugh.
He thanked his family for understanding the life of a legislator, saying his daughter is looking forward to having a dad on weekend and nights again.
Alluding to the budget impasse, Rible shared with his colleagues these departing words of wisdom: “One thing I came in here for was I wanted to accomplish things; but one thing I made a priority of was friendships first, politics second. I think I know a little something about every member here, and that’s how it should be. I think we need to get to know everyone and be friends, and then we can discuss the policy. That way, we’re not here on July 4, we leave before June 30.”
Rible was nominated by Gov. Chris Christie on June 16 to become director of the ABC, which regulates the commerce of alcoholic beverages within New Jersey. The appointment was approved by the State Senate on July 4, making way for Rible’s resignation from the Assembly. It is unclear who will run on the GOP ticket in November for his Assembly seat.
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