District 12 includes 14 communities in Burlington, Middlesex, Monmouth, and Ocean counties: Allentown, Chesterfield, Englishtown, Jackson, Manalapan, Matawan, Millstone, New Hanover, North Hanover, Old Bridge, Plumsted, Roosevelt, Upper Freehold and Wrightstown.
While voter registration leans slightly Democratic, at about 23 percent, 22 percent of registered voters are Republican and most of the rest are unaffiliated, so the district has had solid GOP representation.
Running for re-election are GOP Assemblymen Ronald Dancer and Robert Clifton. Dancer, of New Egypt, is an interviewer in the Ocean County Adjuster’s Office who has been in the Assembly for 14 years. Clifton, of Matawan, is director of local government affairs for Comcast Cable; he is finishing his second term in the lower house.
The Democrats opposing them are David W. Merwin of Laurence Harbor and Robert P. Kurzydlowski of Old Bridge, a late addition to the ticket. A fifth candidate, Stephen N. Zielinski Sr. or Upper Freehold, is a member of the Green Party.