Seven candidates for the U.S. House of Representatives have already filed their nominating petitions to run in the June 2 primary.
The filing deadline is March 30, unless Gov. Phil Murphy and the legislature extend it.
Political operatives from both parties are saying with increased frequency that signature gathering for petitions has become exponentially more difficult during the coronavirus epidemic.
In the 7th district, Rep. Tom Malinowski (D-Ringoes) and his likely Republican opponent, Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield), have already filed.
Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D-Montclair) has filed for re-election in the 11th district. So is her expected GOP challenger, former U.S. Senate Finance Committee tax counsel Rosemary Becchi.
Malinowski and Sherrill to file so far.
Alter Eliezer Richter has filed to take on Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Hamilton) in the 4th district Republican primary.
Of the seven Republicans seeking the chance to run against Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-Wyckoff) in the 5th district, just perennial candidate Hector Castillo has filed.
This is Castillo’s sixth campaign. He won 4% of the vote in a 2002 race for mayor of Paterson, 1% as an independent candidate for governor in 2005, 28% in a GOP primary for Congress in the 9th district in 2012, 39% in the 35th district Republican State Senate primary in 2013, and 28% in his general election race against Rep. Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-Paterson) in 2016.
One of the two Republican looking to challenge Pascrell this year, Bergen County Young Republican Chairman Timothy Walsh, has also filed.
U.S. Senate race
In the race to pick Cory Booker’s opponent, front runner Rik Mehta, a former U.S. Food and Drug Administration official, is the only Republican to file so far.
Booker has not yet filed, but his primary opponent did yesterday.
Lawrence Hamm, a 1970s-era Newark school board member and the chairman of Bernie Sanders’ New Jersey presidential campaign, filed more than 2,500 signatures yesterday.