State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton) has set a record after receiving the greatest number of votes of any candidate for the New Jersey Legislature under the current plan of 40 districts.
Bucco is at 55,694 votes so far in his successful bid to retain his State Senate seat in a 25th district special election. More votes are still coming in.
The Morris County Republican has now passed Assemblywoman Gabriela Mosquera (D-Gloucester Township), who received 55,027 votes in a 2012 special election in the 4th district.
The modern Senate record was set by Patrick Diegnan (D-South Plainfield), who won 50,537 votes in a 2016 special election in the 18th district.
Bucco’s pluralities were boosted by massive voter turnout in Morris County in a presidential election year conducted primarily through vote-by-mail ballots.
Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Mendham), who is presently at 53,476 votes in a special election to keep her seat, in on pace to pass Mosquera and become the top-vote getter among modern Assembly candidates.
Before 1973, when New Jersey shifted to 40 individual legislative districts that combine multiple counties, state senators were elected at-large in countywide elections. Assembly members were the same until 1967.
The record under those circumstances is held by Fairleigh Dickinson, Jr. (R-Ridgewood), who received 191,260 votes in his 1967 bid for State Senate in Bergen County.
That total came in an off-year election where the top Democratic candidate received 116,609 votes.