NJ Primary Results: Watson Coleman Prevails

Tuesday, June 03, 2014


Voters in New Jersey have selected the Democratic and Republican nominees for 12 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and one in the U.S. Senate.

U.S. Senate

Republican Jeff Bell will face U.S. Sen. Cory Booker in a November general election. Booker ran unopposed for the Democratic nomination.  

Bell, a policy analyst, produced television ads for Ronald Reagan’s 1980 presidential campaign, and was the New Jersey Republican Party nominee for U.S. Senate in 1978, according to his website.

But Brigid Callahan Harrison, a political science professor at Montclair State University, says Bell does not have the name recognition in the state that the celebrity politician has.

"Barring any huge scandal, I think Mr. Booker's chances are pretty strong," Harrison said. "He's essentially almost unbeatable."

U.S. House - District 1

Donald Norcross, a state senator and the brother of South Jersey power broker George Norcross, has been declared the Democratic nominee for the district which represents Camden. 

Norcross will face former Philadelphia Eagles linebacker, Gary Cobb, in the November general election. Cob, the Republican nominee, was in the NFL for 11 years and is a sports radio talk show host.

The congressional seat was left vacant earlier this year when Democrat Rob Andrews resigned in February. 

U.S. House - District 2

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo, a Republican and 20 year incumbent will challenge the Democratic nominee, William Hughes, for the congressional seat.

LoBiondo sits on the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, the House Armed Services Committee and the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. 

On his website, Hughes, an attorney, says he would fight for equal pay for women.

U.S. House - District 3

In the district which represents the Jersey Shore, Republican Tom MacArthur, the former mayor of Randolph in Morris County, got the nomination over Tea Partier Steve Lonegan. 

Last year, Lonegan had a strong showing when he ran against Cory Booker for a seat in the U.S. Senate. But political science professor Harrison says Lonegn didn't secure as many endorsements as his opponent this time around.

"The parties in Burlington and Ocean County, where this Congressional District is located endorsed Mr. MacArthur," Harrison said. "That party endorsement means a whole lot down there."

MacArthur, 53, moved to Toms River before the race. He faces Democrat Aimee Belgard, a Burlington County Freeholder and a trial and appellate litigator in the November general election. 

U.S. House - District 10

Incumbent Donald Payne Jr. will be the Democratic nominee in November. He's held the seat since the death of his father, U.S. Rep. Donald Payne Sr., in 2012. 

Republican Yolanda Dentley, a Vice Principal at Union Avenue Middle School, ran uncontested for the GOP nomination. 

U.S. House - District 11

Rodney Frelinghuysen is the GOP nominee. Mark Dunec secured the Democratic nomination. 

U.S. House - District 12

State Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman got the Democratic nod for the seat to replace veteran U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, 65, who is retiring this year. Coleman was the first African American woman to serve as Majority Leader of the New Jersey General Assembly. She is considered the favorite in the district which is heavily Democratic, and is poised to be the first female member for Congress to represent New Jersey in more than a decade. 

She will face Alieta Eck, a physician who ran unopposed in the GOP primary.

Last year, Eck lost a GOP primary for the U.S. Senate to Steve Lonegan. 


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Comments [1]

I emailed each of the NJ 12th District campaigns (the Democrats, the Republican and the Green as well as Rush Holt) with a survey so that I could best gauge which candidate's views are closest to my own.

The questions were phrased so as not reveal which end of the spectrum was the 'expected' response.

On a scale of 1 to 5, 1 being “The candidate completely disagrees” and 5 is “The candidate completely agrees”, what are your positions on the following positions?

1. Abortion on demand in the first trimester is settled law and state attempts to restrict that right are unconstitutional.
2. The 2008 recession is over. Our priority is now to balance the budget rather than recover lost employment.
3. Taxes are too low. Corporations and the wealthy need to pay substantially more of the price of our government.
4. Global climate change is substantially a result of human activity, i.e. the release of excess carbon into the atmosphere. The longer we take to act, the more people will die.
5. The Affordable Care Act has gone too far and needs to be repealed.
6. The Affordable Care Act is badly constructed and needs to be repaired.
7. The $16T generated annually by the American economy is inequitably distributed, and that is largely due to tax policy.
8. Persons who are in this country illegally – they entered without documentation or overstayed their valid visas – should be given a path to legal residence in the United States.

To this I added an one open response question:

9. “Article the First”, a ratified but never enacted amendment to the U.S. Constitution would require that the House representation be kept at a strict proportion to the population, 50,000 to 1. Would you support the direct enactment or re-introduction for this amendment for passage? If not, why not.

I did not require that the candidate themselves respond. Any campaign worker who was empowered to answer for the candidate could respond.

So far, I am still waiting for a response from any campaign and Mr. Holt.

As far as I can tell, this campaign was run completely with lawn signs and mailers. My cynical view is that the combination of Plainfield and Trenton in the same district has created a minority juggernaut that enabled Coleman's win. She probably could have beat Mr. Holt himself in 2012 if she had chosen to run.

Jun. 04 2014 11:23 AM

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