An off-the-line Republican slate received the top ballot position in Gloucester County’s ballot drawing today, a potentially important setback for the Gloucester GOP organization as it tries to tamp down an insurgency within its own ranks.
Assemblywoman Beth Sawyer (R-Woolwich) and former Washington Township Councilman Christopher Del Borrello, running off-the-line for the State Senate in the 3rd and 4th legislative districts, will appear in Column A along with their affiliated Assembly and county-level candidates. Their party-backed opponents, led by State Sen. Ed Durr (R-Logan) and Gloucester County Commissioner Nick DeSilvio (R-Franklin), will be in Column B.
The likely effect of the ballot drawing, which was performed by Democratic County Clerk James Hogan, is the nullification of the Gloucester GOP line’s power.
With two full slates put right next to each other, both of which have similar slogans (Regular Organization Republican for the party line, Gloucester County Regular Republican Party for the insurgents), voters won’t have a clear way of figuring out which candidates have party backing. And since Gloucester Republicans don’t have decades of built-up institutional muscle in primary contests, they may not be able to convince their voters to look past Column A.
Durr likely has significant established name recognition from his upset 2021 victory, but his running mates – particularly in the 4th district, where DeSilvio is leading the ticket – probably can’t count on the same boost among primary voters. (DeSilvio is also running off-the-line in the 4th district’s two other counties, putting him in even more of a tough spot.)
On the Democratic side, meanwhile, Column A went to the county organization over an off-the-line slate.
That means former Assemblyman John Burzichelli (D-Paulsboro) will have the top ballot spot in his State Senate campaign against Mario De Santis, the leader of a progressive slate that also includes two Assembly candidates and three county commissioner candidates.
Salem County also conducted its ballot draw today, though it doesn’t have party lines, so the drawing was simply to determine which candidate’s name is listed first.
On Salem primary ballots, Sawyer will appear first followed by Durr, and De Santis will appear before Burzichelli; their Assembly slates are reversed, with Durr’s runinng mates above Sawyer’s and Burzichelli’s above De Santis’.
This story was updated at 4:20 p.m. with information about the Salem County ballot draw.