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State Sen. Dawn Addiego. Photo by Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe

Addiego: LD8 too close to call

Early VBM returns tight in competitive district

By Nikita Biryukov, October 24 2019 12:41 pm

State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) thinks the eighth legislative district’s Assembly race is looking to be too close to call.

“You know, as close as it was two years ago, it appears as things may be trending the same way,” Addiego said. “So, this may be a too-close-to-call race.”

Democratic candidates Gina LaPlaca and Mark Natale appear to have a narrow lead based on the 6,705 vote-by-mail ballots that have been returned so far.

Democrats in the district have returned 3,019 (45%) mail-in ballots, while Republicans have returned 2,808 (41.9%).

That means 41.4% of the Democrats and 44.7% of Republicans who received mail-in ballots have sent them in.

The narrowness of the eighth district’s vote-by-mail totals is a far cry from other competitive districts in the state, like the 21st, where Democrats hold a 14-point lead in the number of mail-in ballots returned.

In January, Addiego defected from the Republican Party, leaving her former running mates, Assemblymen Ryan Peters and Joe Howarth, in something of a bind.

Peters immediately and publicly denied attempting to jump ship, but Howarth only did so two days after Addiego announced he change of party affiliation.

The episode led to Burlington County Republicans dropping support for Howarth, who mounted an unsuccessful off-the-line primary bid in an effort to keep his seat.

Former Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield, a popular figure in the county, won the Republican nod to run for Howarth’s seat.

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