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U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders. Photo by Gage Skidmore.

Sanders files to run in N.J. Democratic primary

Van Drew files for first GOP primary; Smith files for 22nd

By David Wildstein, March 27 2020 4:31 pm

Bernie Sanders filed nominating petitions today to run in the June New Jersey Democratic presidential primary.

Joe Biden and Donald Trump have already filed.  The deadline is 4 PM on Monday.

Rep. Jeff Van Drew (R-Dennis) filed his petitions today, the first time in a nearly 30-year political career that he will run in a Republican primary.  He switched parties in December.

Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) filed for the 22nd time to seek the GOP nomination for Congress in New Jersey’s 4th district.

He ran for the first time in 1978, receiving just 37% of the vote against House Administration Committee Chairman Frank Thompson, Jr. (D-Trenton).  He ousted Thompson two years later by a 57%-41% margin and is now seeking re-election to his 21st term in Congress.

If the 67-year-old Smith wins, he will set the record for as the longest-serving in New Jersey history.  Regardless of the outcome of the 2020 election, he will tie Rep. Peter Rodino (D-Newark) for the record on January 3, 2021.

Investment banker Frank Pallotta, Jr. has field for the Republican nomination in the 5th district for the chance to take on two-term Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff).

In the 6th district, 25-year-old entrepreneur Sammy Gindi filed to run in the GOP primary.  His likely primary opponent, 27-year-old Christian Onuoha, has the organization lines in Monmouth and Ocean County, but has not yet filed his petitions.

House Energy & Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-Long Branch) has already filed for re-election to an 18th term in the U.S. House of Representatives.  His primary rival in the 6th, Russell Cirincione, has still not filed.

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-Newark) has now filed for re-election to the 10th district seat.  He faces a primary challenge from John Flora, a Jersey City public school teacher.

On the Republican side, Michael W. Barrett has filed to run against Payne.  Barrett looks to be the candidate now that Payne’s 2018 opponent, Aga Khan, appears to have withdrawn from the race.

Three candidates have filed to take on Cory Booker in the race for New Jersey’s U.S. Senate seat: former Newark school board member Lawrence Hamm in the Democratic primary, and general election rivals Rik Mehta and Natalie Rivera.

Booker and two Republican candidates, Hirsh Singh and Tricia Flanagan, have not yet filed.

Click here to read Thursday’s New Jersey story on the filing of nominating petitions.

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