Credit: NJTV News
A Republican Assembly in South Jersey lost its bid for re-election in otherwise predictable primary elections on Tuesday. Voters nominated Democrats and Republicans who will establish their right to represent the state's 40 legislative districts in November in the Assembly, a seat of the state Senate in the southernmost 1st district and provincial and municipal offices.
The turnout seemed to be heavier than the last time the Assembly reached the summit but was still light. The party nods in more than 60 percent of the districts were not disputed. It was relatively quiet even in the 15 districts where one or both parties had competitions. The 181 state-place candidates spent little more than $ 6 million on campaigns, averaging $ 33,000 each, although challengers spent much less or something.
Assembly Joe Howarth (R-8) lost his bid for a new term.
The biggest news was in the 8th district that covers parts of the Burlington, Atlantic and Camden counties, where first-year Assemblyman Ryan Peters and the former sheriff of Burlington County Jean Stanfield will be the GOP standard bearers in the fall. The team, supported by the Republican party, won more than double the votes of the other two contenders, including the other sitting Republican.
It is unusual for a current party to lose the support of its party, but that is precisely what happened to Assemblyman Joe Howarth, a republican who held his second term of office. After the Republicans suspected that he would get a defect and become a Democrat, Howarth opted for the MAGA Republican label and campaigned on a pro-Trump platform. He hoped that that would be enough to overcome the loss of party approval, but the wink to the party is very hard to beat in New Jersey. In this case, the Trump mantle did not yield and Howarth was the only established player in New Jersey who lost.
The Burlington GOP meanwhile tried to "leave its own supporters and train voters on Howarth & Johnny-come-latest status" as a Trump backer, said Ben Dworkin, founder of the Institute for Public Policy and Citizenship at the Rowan University.
Another & # 39; rare & # 39; turn
There was another "weird" turn in that race, said Matthew Hale, a professor of political science and public affairs at the University of Seton Hall, with a number of unions who supported Howarth "in the hope that he would be an easier target in November would be."
Lumberton lawyer Jason Huf polled a distant fourth.
Click to expand / close
The 8th district, which changed from red to split last January, when Sen. Dawn Marie Addiego left the GOP and became a Democrat is probably the biggest battlefield for the parties in the fall, Dworkin said. Republicans hardly held the seats of the Assembly two years ago and are expected to spend a lot to try to keep those two seats. Democrats, who won almost with little effort in 2017, are likely to pump money from their larger suitcases to the 8th to turn those places around.
The Democrats currently have 54 out of 80 seats in the Assembly, but if they take two more, that would further strengthen the South Jersey delegation, over which Sen. President Steve Sweeney (D-Gloucester) and power mediator George Norcross rule the scepter. to wave. Both men are currently embroiled in a controversial feud with Gov. Phil Murphy.
Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale are the Democrats who try to turn the 8th completely blue in November. The party-endorsed candidates easily won a primary person of three people. Johnny Bravo, a chemical engineer from Marlton, finished third.
In the 25th district, located in Morris County, the retirement of Assemblyman Michael Patrick Carroll led three challengers to accompany Assemblyman Anthony M. Bucco in the Republican vote. This has been a safe red district for more than four decades, but incumbent operators received little more than 52 percent of the vote in 2017 and many of the municipalities in this district are also in the 11th Congress District, where Democrats resolutely popped into last year's intermediate cities. Brian Bergen, a Denville veteran, will join Bucco, who easily outpolled all candidates, in the November vote as they try to keep the district in republican hands.
Significant for November?
The results in a number of other closely challenged races could be significant in November.
In the 21st District, where three Democrats competed for the right to challenge Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz in November, the team of Lisa Mandelblatt and Stacey Gunderman was named the winners of the Associated Press with 87 percent of the votes counted. Gunderman received 39 percent and Mandelblatt 38 percent. Jill LaZare, who was looking for a district seat for the third time, received 22 percent and said that while she did not win, "I am very proud of the race we drove."
Click to expand / close
"Tonight we let Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz know that their terms will end in November," Gunderman said. "Now the real work begins. We are more than ready for the challenge. Lisa and I have already knocked hundreds of doors down. In the summer and fall we are going to beat thousands more. Our opponents barely won in 2017, and with your help we will finish the job in 2019. "
In the 16th District, where three Republicans competed for the right to challenge Democratic Assembly Andrew Zwicker and Roy Freiman, Mark Caliguire takes a second chance at a seat – he lost in 2017 – and ran with Christine Madrid. With almost all votes counted, Caliguire polled 39 percent, Madrid 35 percent and Roger Locandro finished third with 26 percent.
Several other races in the state were progressive democrats who compete against organization candidates. For the most part, the upstarts are people who became active after the 2016 presidential election, but they are in the minority and are surpassed by lifelong Democrats. Dworkin did not expect anyone to win, but he said that if they could gauge around 40 percent, party leaders would have to recognize them as a force.
Challengers fail to penetrate
In Camden, Middlesex and the provinces of the Union, the challengers have not polarized anywhere near that well.
In the best case scenario, the rebellious team of Carlos Rivas and Mark Lighten, who were active as Democrats United for Progress, received 35 percent of the votes in the 22nd district, with all votes counted. The current members of the Linda Carter and James Kennedy assemblies have won there.
And in the 6th district in Camden, challengers Danie Moss-Velasco and Julian Jordan received only 23 percent of the vote, while the team of incumbent Assembly members Louis Greenwald and Pamela Lampitt conveniently won.
In November, Dworkin said that democrats in most locations will continue to have a huge advantage, with Republicans playing more defense. That is, unless the feud between the governor and democratic legislative leaders explodes into total war and splits the party.
"It's a good time to have an & # 39; D & # 39; next to your name because people don't like the president," he said. "Where that could change is if the power struggle between the Democrats makes the state more than a little dysfunctional. "
These are the winners of the other controversial primaries:
3rd District: Assemblymen John Burzichelli and Adam Taliaferro;
15th district: members of the Verlina Reynolds-Jackson and Anthony Verrelli assemblies;
17th District: Assemblymen Joe Danielsen and Joseph Egan;
20th District: Assembly members Annette Quijano and Jamel Holley;
28th district: members of the Cleopatra Tucker and Ralph Caputo assemblies;
29th District: Assemblywomen Eliana Pintor-Marin and Shanique Davis-Speight;
32nd District: Assembly members Angelica Jimenez and Pedro Mejia;
34th district: members of the Britnee Timberlake and Thomas Giblin Assembly;
36th District: Assemblymen Gary Schaer and Clinton Calabrese.
from NJTV News, our sister organization.