The List: As Primary Election Draws Near, Where are Garden State’s Voters?

Colleen O'Dea | May 18, 2015 | The List
Of the state’s 5.4 million registered voters, only those affiliated with a party – or willing to declare an affiliation—can cast ballots on June 2

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There are just two weeks until this year’s primary election. On June 2, voters will go to the polls to choose local, county and state Assembly candidates to represent the two major parties in the November election.

New Jersey had nearly 5.4 million registered voters at the end of March. While the state’s legislative districts are supposed to have equal populations, there is a significant difference between the smallest district and the largest — the district with the most registered voters has 50 percent more voters than the district with the fewest.

Only those who are affiliated with the Democratic or Republican parties, and non-affiliated voters willing to declare as a member of one of those parties on Election Day, may vote in the primary. A little more than half of all voters in the state are registered as Democrats or Republicans.

These are the legislative districts with the most affiliated voters:

1. District 27 — 88,879 voters

Encompassing 14 municipalities in Essex and Morris counties, the district includes Gov. Christie’s childhood home of Livingston but swings “blue.” More than a third of those registered are Democrats, while only 2 in 10 are Republicans. It has the highest rate of affiliation — 57 percent of voters have chosen a party — of any district on the list. With 155,034 registered voters in total, the 27th has the second largest number of voters of all the state’s districts. Incumbent Assembly members John McKeon and Mila Jasey, both Democrats, are unopposed on the Democratic ticket for re-election. Republicans Tayfun Selen and Wonkyu “Q” Rim are also unopposed.

2. District 7 — 83,686

Seventeen Burlington County communities comprise the 7th District, with Mount Laurel at its southern tip. This is another Democratic-leaning district, with 37 percent of voters leaning “blue” and 20 percent “red.”

About 44 percent of all voters in the district have not chosen a party. Herb Conaway and Troy Singleton, both Democratic incumbents, are unopposed for their party’s nomination, as are Republicans Bill Conley and Rob Prisco.

3. District 6 — 82,772.

Home of Cherry Hill, this is another “blue” district, abutting the Delaware
River and straddling Burlington and Camden counties.

Almost 4 of every 10 registered voters in the district are Democrats, compared with only 15 percent of Republicans. Some 55 percent of the 151,251 registered voters have chosen one of those parties. Neither primary is contested, with incumbent Democrats Louis Greenwald and Pamela Lampitt on the Democratic ticket and Holly Tate and Robert Esposito on the GOP ballot.

4. District 4 — 80,697

Continuing in the “blue” southwestern portion of the state, this district has just nine municipalities in Camden and Gloucester counties, including Winslow. Its Democrat-Republican split is similar to 6th and 56 percent districts. Democratic Assembly members Gabriela Mosquera and Paul Moriarty face no primary opposition, nor do GOP candidates Jack Nicholson and Kevin Murphy.

5. District 24 — 79,204

The first “red”-leaning district on the list, the sprawling 24th is the state’s northernmost, covering 36 municipalities in Morris, Sussex and Warren counties. Newton is about at its gerographic center. Nearly 4 of 10 voters in the 24th are registered Republicans, while 17 percent are Democrats. Some 45 percent of the total 145,602 registered are unaffiliated.

This is also the first district on the list with a primary battle: The retirement of Alison Littell McHose has attracted challengers Marie Bilik and Nathan Orr to oppose incumbent F. Parker Space and running mate Gail Phoebu in the GOP primary. Democrats Jacqueline Stapel and Michael Grace have no opposition.

6. District 26 — 78,408

Another North Jersey Republican district, the 26th covers 13 communities in Essex, Morris and Passaic counties, including Parsippany. A third of the registered voters are Republicans, while 21 percent are Democrats and nearly all the rest are unaffiliated. The GOP incumbents, Jay Webber and Betty Lou DeCroce, are unopposed. So are Democrats Avery Hart and Wayne Marek.

7. District 25 – 78,392

Just below the 26th, this Republican-leaning district includes Morristown and 20 other municipalities in Morris and Somerset counties. Its registration statistics are similar to that of the 26th. Of all the districts on the list, the 25th has the lowest number of registered voters, about 140,000 in total, who are unaffiliated. The GOP incumbents, Anthony Bucco and Michael Patrick Carroll, have no primary opponents, nor do Democrats Richard Corcoran III and Thomas Moran.

8. District 21 — 78,126

Summit is among the 16 Morris, Somerset and Union county municipalities that make up this district. Affiliated voter registration is close here, with 28 percent registered as Republicans and a quarter as Democrats, but the district tilts “red.” It has the smallest percentage of voters registered with one of the major parties of all the districts on the list — 52 percent of nearly 149,000 voters. Republican incumbents Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz and Democrats David Barnett and Jill Anne Lazare are unopposed on their respective ballots.

9. District 8 — 78,034.

This district includes Mount Holly and 19 other towns in parts of Atlantic, Burlington and Camden counties. It is the only anomalous district on the list — represented by the party that has a lower voter registration. In this case, Democrats outnumber Republicans, 28 percent to 25 percent, but the GOP holds the legislative seats. As of the filing deadline, no Democrats were seeking to run here and incumbent Maria Rodriguez-Gregg and Joe Howarth were the only Republicans to file.

10. District 23 — 76,929

A solid Republican district, the 23rd sprawls across 35 municipalities in Hunterdon, Somerset and Warren counties, from Phillipsburg to Bridgewater. A third of some 142,000 registered are Republicans, while 2 in 10 are Democrats. Neither party has a contested primary: Erik Peterson and John DiMaio are the GOP incumbents, and Maria Rodriguez and Marybeth Maciag are running as Democrats.