District 18 encompasses seven communities in Middlesex County: East Brunswick, Edison, Helmetta, Highland Park, Metuchen, South Plainfield and South River.
This has been considered a safe Democratic district, with 39 percent of voters registered as Democrats and only 13 percent Republicans. Virtually all of the other voters in the district are unaffiliated.
Both Democratic incumbents are seeking re-election. Assemblyman Patrick Diegnan Jr., a South Plainfield attorney finishing his seventh term. Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin is a former East Brunswick councilwoman in her first term in the lower house.
The Republican candidates are Synnove Bakke of East Brunswick and Teresa Rose Hutchison of South River.