Several closely watched legislative contests in New Jersey’s June 8 primary election appear to show that the power of the party line is alive and well. In the race to succeed retiring Sen. Loretta Weinberg in Bergen County’s 37th District, Democratic Assemblyman Gordon Johnson defeated fellow Assembly member, the more progressive Valerie Vainieri Huttle. Johnson had the backing of the Bergen County Democratic Party.
In the 20th District, Democratic Sen. Joe Cryan defeated his challengers, beating incumbent Assemblyman Jamel Holley. In the 13th District’s Republican Assembly race, Serena DiMaso ran off the party line and lost her bid to the candidates backed by the Monmouth County GOP, Gerard Scharfenberger and Vicky Flynn. In the Republican contest for Senate in the 2nd District, Vince Polistina beat Seth Grossman by a more than 2-to-1 margin. And in the 26th District, four Republicans ran for two Assembly seats. Incumbent Jay Webber won his bid; the winner of the second seat is still too close to call.