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Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker. (Photo: Assembly Democrats).

Republicans field Assembly candidates in staunch Dem districts

29th has less Republicans than any district in New Jersey

By David Wildstein, March 28 2019 1:12 pm

Incumbents in two of New Jersey’s most staunchly Democratic legislative districts will face Republican opposition in November.

Joy Bembry-Freeman and Antonio Pires will challenge Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) and Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark) in the 28th, and John Anello and Jeannette Veras will take on Eliana Pinto-Marin (D-Newark) and Shanique Speight (D-Newark) in the 29th.

The 28th has 64,496 more Democrats than Republicans in a district that 18,507 more Democrats than unaffiliated voters.

The 29th has less Republicans than any of the other 39 legislative districts in the state, with 54,084 more Democrats than Republicans.

In 2017, Pintor and Speight combined for nearly 88% of the votes cast in that race.  Caputo and Tucker combined for 85% in their re-election bids two years ago.

Veras, a dutiful Republican, ran for Assembly in 2015 and 2017 and for Essex County District 1 freeholder in 2014.

Neither of two Newark-based districts have ever elected a Republican.

In 2001, after redistricting put Bloomfield in the 28th, Republican Assemblywoman Mario Crecco (R-Bloomfield) challenged State Sen. Ronald Rice (R-Newark) and held him to 69% of the vote – the strongest ever showing for a Republican in this district.

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