While the results of the Democratic primary for State Senate in the 37th district still not final – late arriving vote-by-mail ballots may arrive through close of business today and ballot cure letters are due on June 21 – Gordon Johnson routed Valerie Vainieri Huttle by 6,127 votes, a lopsided 72.5% to 27.5%, 45-point victory.
The magnitude of Johnson’s win came from landslide victories in the districts’ four largest municipalities:
- Johnson carried Teaneck by 1,831 votes, 73.1% to 26.9%. He swept all 23 districts.
- In Englewood, where Johnson and Vainieri Huttle both live, Johnson won by 1,317 votes, 76.6% to 23.5%. Johnson carried every district in the city.
- Hackensack gave Johnson a 1,299 vote plurality, 80.9% to 19.1%. He took all 25 districts.
- Johnson prevailed in Fort Lee by 758 votes 71.5% to 28.5% and carried all 19 districts.
Johnson also won better than 2-1 margins in five other municipalities: Bogota (+164; 73.8%); Cresskill (+118; 70.6%); Englewood Cliffs (+96, 67.4%); Northvale (+92, 75.6%) and Palisades Park (+379, 82%). He carried Tenafly by 71 votes, 53.9%-46.1%.
In tiny Rockleigh, where seven Democrats voted, Johnson edged out Vainieri Huttle by one vote, 4-3, which translates into a misleading 14-point win. Alpine went for Johnson by two votes, 37 to 35, a 51%-49% victory.
Vainieri Huttle won one town: Leonia, where the endorsement of Mayor Judah Ziegler appears to have catapulted her to a one-vote triumph, 330 to 339. The eight-term assemblywoman carried four of the six districts, but Johnson won VBM ballots by a near 2-1 margin
She carried just eight districts in the 37th: the four in Leonia and four of twelve in Tenafly.
The total number of votes cast in the Senate primary, 13,629, represented an 18.8% voter turnout – about 5% more than the unofficial statewide turnout among registered Democrats.
The highest percentage turnouts came in Teaneck (23.6%), Englewood (21.5%), and Tenafly (20.4%). The lowest came in Rockleigh (10.4% of the 67 registered Democrats); Bogota (12.3%), Cresskill (15%), and Hackensack (15.2%).
Vainieri Huttle ran sixteen points behind the last off-the-line Democrat in a 37th district Senate primary, when Englewood Mayor Donald Aronson lost 60%-40% to Assemblyman Byron Baer (D-Englewood).
Gov. Phil Murphy was unopposed in the Demcoratic primary for governor but received 674 votes less than the total number cast in the Senate race for Johnson and Vainieri Huttle combined. In Teaneck, 205 Democrats cast ballots in the Senate primary but skipped Murphy. In Englewood, it was 187.
In the race for two State Assembly seats, Tenafly Democratic Municipal Chair Shama Haider and former Englewood Cliffs Councilwoman Ellen Park carried all thirteen municipalities in their primary campaigns against Teaneck Councilwoman Gervonn Romney-Rice and Tenafly Council President Lauren Dayton. Haider and Park ran with Johnson on the Bergen County Democratic organization line.
Park was the top vote-getter with 9,250 votes, followed by Haider with 9,018. Rice finished 5,359 votes behind Haider, with Dayton receiving 513 fewer votes than her running mate.
Haider and Park won all thirteen municipalities in the 37th. The coasted to wins in Leonia, where Vainieri Huttle leads Johnson, and each took all seven votes in Rockleigh.
In Teaneck, Romney-Rice trailed Haider by 810 votes. Dayton ran 88 votes behind Park in Tenafly.