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Returned primary mail-in ballots on the light side statewide, in key legislative races

Democrats have returned 31% of vote-by mail ballots, GOP has sent back 30%

By David Wildstein, June 03 2021 4:04 pm

Just 30% of the Democrats who received vote-by-mail ballots in the 37th legislative district returned them as of Wednesday, according to an analysis of VBM returns conducted by the New Jersey Globe.

In the state’s hottest State Senate primary – a contest between Gordon Johnson and Valerie Vainieri Huttle for Loretta Weinberg’s seat – the Bergen County Clerk mailed 8,062 mail-in ballots to Democrats and have recorded 2,523 of them as returned.

The 37th has 77,349 Democrats, with 10.4% of them receiving VBM ballots.

This is the first contested Democratic Senate primary since 1993, when Assemblyman Byron Baer (D-Englewood) defeated Englewood Mayor Donald Aronsohn by 20 percentage points following the retirement of six-term State Sen. Matthew Feldman (D-Teaneck).

Statewide, 31.2% of all mail-in ballots sent to Democrats and 29.8% of all VBM ballots sent to Republicans have been returned.

In the 2nd district, where former Assemblyman Vince Polistina and former Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman are facing off for the GOP State Senate nomination, 33% of VBM ballots have been returned.

The Atlantic County Clerk sent out 3,399 vote-by-mail ballots – about 9.5% of the 42,043 registered Republicans in the legislative districts – and 1,122 of them have come back.

Republicans are selecting a candidate to replace Christopher Brown (R-Ventnor), who is not seeking re-election to a second term.  Either Grossman or Polistina will face Assemblyman Vince Mazzeo (D-Northfield) in a district that has elected Democrats and Republicans for the last 46 years.

The Union County-based 20th district, which features a State Senate primary between incumbent Joseph Cryan (D-Union) and Assemblyman Jamel Holley (R-Roselle), 22% of the Democratic primary voters who received mail-in ballots have returned them.  Of the 6,591 Democratic VBM ballots sent out, 1,825 were returned.

A GOP primary for State Assembly in the 39th district, where incumbents Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan) and DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River) face a primary challenge from Saddle River Councilman John Azzariti and former Saddle River GOP Municipal Chairman John Kurpis, 23% of the 7,054 Republicans who were sent vote-by-mail ballots have returned them.

In the 26th district, nearly 28% of vote-by-mail ballots have been returned on the Republican side.

The district features an Assembly contest between incumbents Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains) and BettyLou DeCroce (R-Parsippany) and challengers Christian Barranco and Morris County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo.

Barranco defeated DeCroce for the Morris GOP line and is running with Webber in the county that accounts for 78% of the Republican primary vote.  DeCroce alone has the line in Essex and Passaic.

In the Monmouth-based 13th district, where the county clerk mailed out 5,015 vote-by-mail ballots to Republican primary voters, 29% have been returned.

Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel) was denied party support for re-election to a third term.  She is running off the line against Holmdel Board of Education President Vicky Flynn and incumbent Gerald Scharfenberger (R-Middletown).

More than 35% of the VBM ballots in the 10th district, where two incumbent assemblymen have a primary challenge, have been returned.  Greg McGuckin (R-Toms River) and John Catalano (R-Brick) face former Toms River Republican Club President Geri Ambrosio and Brian Quinn, allies of former Ocean County GOP Chairman George Gilmore.

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