- Associated Press - Saturday, June 25, 2016

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - Raymond Bateman, a veteran state lawmaker who helped create New Jersey’s county college system and once ran for governor, has died. He was 88.

Bateman’s death was announced by his son, Christopher “Kip” Bateman, a Republican who now holds the state Senate seat from Somerset County that his father once occupied.

Raymond Bateman died early Saturday at a hospital after a brief illness. Family members say he had recently suffered from pneumonia after breaking his shoulder.

Bateman served in the Legislature for 20 years, including stints as the GOP’s assistant majority leader and majority leader in both the Assembly and Senate. He also served three terms as Senate president and more than 100 days as acting governor.

After serving for four years as executive director of the Republican State Committee, Bateman won an Assembly seat in 1958. He served in that chamber until he was elected to the Senate in 1967.

Bateman played a role in the passage of major legislation, most notably co-authoring and serving as sponsor of the 1962 legislation that established New Jersey’s county-based community college system. As Senate President, he also chaired a study commission that ultimately established the Delaware and Raritan Canal state park.

Bateman won the Republican nomination for governor in 1977, but lost the election to incumbent Democrat Brendan Byrne.

After leaving the Legislature, Bateman served as chairman of the New Jersey Sports and Exposition Authority and was a visiting professor for several years with Rutgers University’s Government and Business course. He also wrote numerous columns for the Courier-News and other local newspapers.

Bateman graduated from Wesleyan University in 1950 and went on to Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.

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