Home>Campaigns>Some N.J. congressional trivia you probably won’t need to know

Former Rep. Robert W. Kean (R-Livingston). (Fabian Bacharach Studio Photo from the Collection of David Wildstein).

Some N.J. congressional trivia you probably won’t need to know

By David Wildstein, October 26 2022 7:25 am

Upsets in congressional races occur infrequently, but if they happen in New Jersey this year, here’s some trivial taking points you should know:

Claire Gustafson would be the first South Jersey woman to serve in Congress.  If she beats Donald Norcross, she would be the first Republican to represent the 1st district since Jim Florio took out John Hunt in 1974.

Tim Alexander, who is taking on Jeff Van Drew in the 2nd district, would become the first Black congressman from south of Route 195.  If he were to win a second term, he’d be the first Democrat to do that since Bill Hughes in 1976.

In the 3rd district, Bob Healey would become the state’s first Punk Rocker congressman if he unseats Andy Kim.

Toppling Chris Smith in NJ-4 would make Matt Jenkins the first Democrat to hold the seat in 42 years.

Frank Pallotta would become the first Bergen County Republican man to hold the 5th district seat since Watergate ended the congressional career of Bill Widnall in 1974.  A victory over Josh Gottheimer wound also make Pallotta the first New Jersey congressman to call the Oath Keepers “good people.”

Sue Kiley would become the first Republican woman in the New Jersey congressional delegation since Marge Roukema retired 20 years ago.  She would also become the first Republican to hold the 6th district seat now occupied by Frank Pallone since James Auchincloss retired in 1964.

The election of Tom Kean, Jr. against Tom Malinowski in NJ-7 would be the first Kean family win in a race for Congress since his grandfather won his tenth and last term in 1956.  He’d also be the first Kean to topple an incumbent since his grandfather defeated Frank Towey in 1938.

Democrat Robert J. Menendez, who is seeking an open seat in the 8th district, would become the first son of a United States Senator to win a House seat since Bob Kean did it in 1938.  It would also be the first time New Jersey sent a father and son to Washington.  Marco Arroyo would become the first Republican congressman from Hudson County since Vincent Dellay won on Dwight Eisenhower’s 1956 coattails.

Billy Prempeh, who is taking on Bill Pascrell in NJ-9, David Pinckney, who is taking on Donald Payne in NJ-10and Darius Mayfield, the NJ-12 challenger against Bonnie Watson Coleman, would become the first Black Republicans to represent New Jersey in Congress.  , The election of either of them would come 102 years after the first Black, Republican Walter Gilbert Alexander, was elected to the State Assembly.

Pinckney would become the first Republican from the Newark-based 10th district since Fred Hartley, the sponsor of the famed Taft-Hartley Act, retired in 1948.  A Pinckney win in one of the nation’s most heavily-Democratic congressional districts could also represent the first time a unicorn flew across Newark Bay.

In the 11th district, Paul DeGroot would become the first Morris County Republican to unseat an Essex County Democrat since Dean Gallo ousted Joe Minish in 1984.  He would also become the first man to topple an incumbent congresswoman since Jim Courter ousted a Helen Meyner in 1978.

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