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 voting registration leans slightly Democratic, at about 24 percent, compared with 22 percent Republican and most of the rest unaffiliated, the district has had solid GOP representation.
Running for re-election are Sen. Samuel Thompson and Assemblymen Ronald Dancer and Robert Clifton. Thompson, of Old Bridge, joined the Assembly in 1998 and moved up to the Senate last year. Dancer, of New Egypt, is an interviewer in the Ocean County Adjuster’s Office who has been in the Assembly for a dozen years. Clifton, of Matawan, is director of local government affairs for Comcast Cable and finishing his first term in the lower house.
Seeking the Senate seat is Democrat Raymond Dothard, of Millstone, a former aviation safety inspector who spent 28 years in the military, retiring as a lieutenant colonel. The Democratic Assembly challengers are Lawrence Furman, an information technology manager who serves on the Manalapan finance committee, and Nicholas Nellegar, an assistant director of The Arc of Monmouth and resident of Matawan.
There is also an independent in the race for Assembly: Diane Bindler, of Manalapan, is a member of the Matawan-Englishtown Regional Board of Education and a real estate agent.
For more about the candidates, visit their websites: