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The New Jersey State Assembly Chambers in Trenton

Maps: the ’17 Assembly races

By Ben Kestenbaum, September 11 2019 11:40 am

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Looking to November, Democrats hope to further pad their super-majority in Trenton, by flipping the 8th, 21st and 25th legislative districts, all of which of which were decided by narrow margins in 2017.

Meanwhile Republicans hope to make dents in that super-majority by defending those six seats and flipping the 16th. Sixteen assembly races were decided by less than 10% in 2017, and both parties hope to swing a few more seats into their column come November.

Republicans hope to win back suburban seats that have been trending away from the party in recent years, while Democrats hope to capitalize on momentum following the 2018 midterms and look to target districts located within the congressional districts that Democrats flipped in 2018.

The closest district in 2017, and one that the Democrats hope to pick up in 2019, was the 8th District. Republicans Joe Howarth and Ryan Peters only won a combined 50.1% of the vote, compared to the Democrats 49.3%, and Peters only avoided being defeated by Democrat Joanne Schwartz by a razor thin margin of 350 votes.

Republicans Jon Bramnick and Nancy Munoz held on to the 21st district by a 1.2% margin against their Democratic Rivals, and Munoz only holding on to her seat by a small 1,554 vote margin.

The closest race won by the Democrats was in the 16th legislative district, where Assemblyman Andrew Zwicker, and former executive Roy Freiman won election against Republicans Donna Simon and Mark Caliguire by a 2.4% margin, and Freiman winning his seat by 3,040 votes.

Including the 16th district, six of the sixteen legislative districts where the margin of victory was under 10%, were won by Democratic candidates. Two of them were under 5%, including the 16th and 11th, which was won by the Democrats by a 4.8% margin. Districts 3, 14, and 38 were all won by between 8-9% by Democrats.

Ten of the sixteen districts where the margin was under 10% were won by Republicans, including the 8th, and 21st districts.

Five of the ten seats won by the Republicans in 2017 with a margin under 10% were decided by a margin of 3% or under.

These districts are the 8th, 21st, 25th, 39th, and 40th districts.

The 25th district was the closest of these 3 besides the 8th and 21st, having been decided by a margin of 2.1%, and Assemblywoman Nancy Munoz only defeated challenger Lacey Rzeszowski by 2,430 votes.

The 39th and 40th districts were decided by a similar margin and vote total, with both going to the Republicans by around 3%, and Robert Auth winning the 39th district by 3,613 votes, and Christopher DePhillips winning in the 40th district by 3,518 votes.

Republicans held on to the 12th, 13th, 23rd, 24th, and 26th districts by a margin between 5.6% and 7.8%.

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