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This is what happened in New Jersey on Tuesday

Murphy mid-terms give GOP gains in Legislature, Dems win key local contests

By David Wildstein, November 06 2019 7:25 am

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Here’s what happened on Tuesday in Gov. Phil Murphy’s mid-term election.

* Republicans picked up a State Senate seat in the 1st district, where Michael Testa, Jr. unseated incumbent Bob Andrzejczak in a special election for Rep. Jeff Van Drew’s old seat.  The new Democratic majority in the Senate is now 25-15.

* Republicans picked up two Assembly seats in the 1st district, where incumbents Bruce Land and Matthew Milam were defeated.  The new GOP legislators are Lower Township Mayor Erik Simonsen and Ocean City Councilman Antwan McClellan.  McClellan will become the first African American Republican legislator in seventeen years.  The Democratic majority in the Assembly will be 52-28.

* Democrats were unable to win any Republican Assembly seats, despite targeting four districts.  Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick won easily.  So did Anthony M. Bucco, who is now a state senator and won’t hold the seat he won on Tuesday.   The failure to pick up seats in the lower house comes one year after Democrats flipped four congressional seats, although Democrats won seven seats under the current map and were now playing in GOP terrain.

* Two Democratic assemblymen from the 2nd district, Vince Mazzeo and John Armato, appear to have lost the machine vote but won re-election based on vote-by-mail ballots.  This race isn’t over yet, and the New Jersey Globe got this one totally wrong.

* Democrat Jeff Martin was elected mayor of Hamilton, ousting Republican incumbent Kelly Yaede in a particularly toxic fight.  Hamilton is New Jersey’s 9th largest municipality.

* In the 8th largest town, Toms River, Republican Mo Hill leads Democrat Jonathan Petro by a narrow margin.   Republicans held control of the Township Committee.

* Republican Owen Henry was re-elected mayor of Old Bridge, the 17th largest town in the state.  That’s significant because of the 20 largest towns, only three will have GOP mayors – if the Toms River lead holds.

* Control of the Somerset County Board of Freeholders is too close to call.  Democrat Melanie Marano is up by 250 votes over incumbent Pat Walsh.  Democrats haven’t controlled Somerset since Lyndon Johnson was president.

* Democrats elected sheriffs in Burlington and Somerset counties, where six-term Republican incumbents retired.

* The Burlington County freeholder board has gone from 5-0 Republican in 2017 to 5-0 Democratic.  Freeholder Latham Tiver was the only incumbent freeholder in the state of either party to lose his seat.

* Salem County Republicans retained control of their freeholder board and the county clerk’s office.  Salem County is about the size of Old Bridge.

* $5 million dollars later, a referendum to restrict short-term rentals in Jersey City passed with 69% of the vote.

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