Gov. Phil Murphy kicked off his weekend of stumping for the year’s Democratic candidates with a stop in Mercer County Friday night.
“You are as good a lineup as there is anywhere in the state,” Murphy told the county’s assembly members. “You deserve our unwavering support and we wish you nothing but the best on Tuesday.”
Mercer is host to only a single competitive Assembly race.
Assemblymen Roy Freiman and Andrew Zwicker face challenges from former Somerset County Freeholder Mark Caliguire and former Montgomery Mayor Christine Madrid.
The New Jersey Globe rates the race as leaning Democratic.
Despite that, the seat isn’t safe. The sixteenth district is one of only three in the state with split representation, and it’s worth noting that the eighth district only numbers among those because State Sen. Dawn Addiego defected from the Republican party earlier this year.
Because Assembly races are at the top of the ticket this year, turnout is expected to be low, and the state’s new vote by mail law and President Donald Trump’s tenure make modelling turnout difficult.
Early returns show mail-in ballots favoring Democrats statewide, but those counts are based off of party registration, which is nothing close to a guaranteed vote.
“If I can leave you with one plea tonight, it’s don’t leave one vote for granted. As good as our candidates are, as good as their track records that are being put up for referendum and the confidence we have around that, we can’t take anything for granted,” Murphy said. “The other side would like nothing more than to sneak up and stael a seat or two from us, and we can’t let that happen.”