By Associated Press - Thursday, February 27, 2014

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) - New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney is making his first visit to Israel as part of a delegation of 12 state legislators.

The 10 Democrats and 2 Republicans leave Thursday night on what will be a six-day trip for most.

Sweeney of West Deptford is bringing his college-age son along.

The Democrat disputed that the trip was further evidence he is positioning himself to run for governor in 2017.

The delegation will meet with Israeli government officials and visit businesses with ties to the United States.

Gov. Chris Christie took a similar trip during his first term.

The trip is being sponsored by the New Jersey State Association of Jewish Federations and paid for by the lawmakers through their campaign accounts.

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