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Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Bramnick, Matsikoudis, Muñoz win in the 21st district

By Joey Fox, November 02 2021 11:05 pm

The New Jersey Globe is projecting that Assembly Minority Leader Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield) has been elected to the Senate in the 21st district, and that Assemblywoman Nancy Muñoz (R-Summit) and Republican New Providence Councilwoman Michele Matsikoudis have been elected to the district’s two Assembly seats.

Bramnick defeated Joseph Signorello, the Democratic mayor of Roselle Park, while Matsikoudis and Muñoz beat Elizabeth Graner and Anjali Mehrotra.

For the last decade, the 21st district has been undoubtedly the most powerful Republican-held district in the state, as it elected the Republican leader in both houses of the legislature: Bramnick and Senate Minority Leader Tom Kean, Jr. (R-Westfield).

This year, Kean chose to retire in order to focus on his second campaign for Congress, and Bramnick will succeed him after nearly two decades in the Assembly and ten years in the minority leader position. But the 21st district may still retain outsized influence; Muñoz, who succeeded her late husband Eric in 2009, is the frontrunner to replace Bramnick as minority leader, though some conservatives have worked to undo her coalition.

Democrats have worked in the past to loosen Republicans’ grip on the 21st district, which consistently backs Democrats by strong margins in statewide and federal contests. But they didn’t focus on the 21st district nearly as much this cycle, and a Republican sweep does not come as a surprise.

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