Home>Campaigns>Norcross, Gustafson prevail over minor challengers in 1st district primaries

Rep. Donald Norcross. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for the New Jersey Globe).

Norcross, Gustafson prevail over minor challengers in 1st district primaries

Results set up rematch of 2020 contest, with Norcross heavily favored

By Joey Fox, June 07 2022 8:42 pm

The New Jersey Globe projects that Rep. Donald Norcross (D-Camden) and Republican challenger Claire Gustafson have defeated their unheralded primary opponents in the 1st congressional district, and will head to a rematch of their 2020 matchup. As of 8:43 p.m., Norcross had 80% of the vote in his primary and Gustafson had 76% in hers.

Norcross, a former state senator and the brother of South Jersey Democratic powerbroker George Norcross, faced Mario DeSantis, who briefly challenged then-Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) in the 2021 Democratic primary. DeSantis campaigned as a progressive, but Norcross – a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus with close ties to organized labor – drastically outraised him and was never in much danger of losing.

On the Republican side, it looked like Gustafson would run unopposed until the last minute, when a previously unheard-of candidate named Damon Galdo filed with the Division of Elections. Gustafson already had the endorsements of the local county parties by that point, however, and Galdo didn’t catch on.

The Camden-based 1st district is strongly Democratic-leaning, and Norcross beat Gustafson 62-38% in 2020; while the 2022 political environment is worse for Democrats, it almost certainly won’t be enough for Gustafson to overcome that kind of deficit this November.

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