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Somerset County Republican Chairman Al Gaburo, right, with Hudson County Republican Chairman Jose Arango.

Arango rails against redistricting amendment

By Nikita Biryukov, November 30 2018 11:43 am

Hudson County Republican Chairman Jose Arango on Friday said Democrats’ constitutional amendment to tie the legislative district map to party performance in statewide elections will hurt minority voters.

“New Jersey specifically holds elections in odd years to focus on state issues. As the first Hispanic Republican elected to the Assembly, I know that we do best when we focus on local concerns,” Arango said. “A party should receive as close to as possible the percentage of seats as the percentage of vote that it gets. Since 2011, the Democrats have gotten almost 10% more seats than they get in votes. Gerrymandering more Democratic seats will not only be bad for competitiveness, it will also hurt minority representation.”

It’s not clear how much of a difference the amendment will make in Hudson County’s legislative races, as Republicans haven’t won a seat there in decades, and Democrats almost always win by landslides there.

Editor’s note: Arango was not the first Hispanic Republican to win election to the New Jersey State Assembly.  That was Jorge Rod, an Ocean County Republican who won a State Assembly seat in 1981.

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