The 2nd District encompasses 17 communities in Atlantic County: Absecon, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Buena, Buena Vista, Egg Harbor City, Egg Harbor Township, Folsom, Hamilton, Linwood, Longport, Margate City, Mullica, Northfield, Pleasantville, Somers Point, and Ventnor City.
This is one of the few districts in the state with representation split between the parties, with a Democratic senator and one Assembly member and one Republican Assemblyman. A perennial battleground made more so due to an open Senate seat, this is likely to be one of the most expensive races in the state this year.
Voter registration is 35 percent Democratic and 25 percent Republican; most of the rest are unaffiliated.
Sen. Jim Whelan’s retirement had set the stage for a heated battle for his seat, and that contest became even more pronounced with Whelan’s death in August. In a special election in September, the Democrats chose their Senate candidate Colin Bell, a former Atlantic County Freeholder who was unsuccessful at an Assembly bid two years ago, to fill out Whelan’s term so he has become the incumbent. He faces current GOP Assemblyman Chris Brown, who is giving up his seat in the lower house in hopes of moving up to the Senate.
Vincent Mazzeo, a Democrat, is the other Assemblyman and he is running with John Amato of Buena. They are facing Republicans Vince Sera of Brigantine and Brenda Taube of Margate, as well as Green Party candidate Mico Lucide of Mays Landing and independent Heather Gordon, who is from Ventnor and is running under the slogan “Independent, Honest, Reliable.”