Former Penn State athlete Adam Taliaferro who overcame injury headed to N.J.’s Assembly

A former Penn State football player who recovered from a devastating spinal cord injury is headed to New Jersey’s statehouse as an assemblyman.

Adam Taliaferro won the Democratic Party endorsement Thursday to fill a vacancy created when Assemblywoman Celeste Riley stepped down from the southern New Jersey post to serve as Cumberland County clerk.

Vacated legislative seats in New Jersey are filled by the political party that controls the seat.

Taliaferro was paralyzed in 2000 during a Penn State-Ohio State game after tackling an opponent. Doctors predicted a small chance of walking again but he recovered in four months.

Taliaferro was elected to the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders in 2011.

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