The New Jersey Globe is projecting that Hammonton Councilman Michael Torrissi and Acting Manchester Township Administrator Brandon Umba, both Republicans, have defeated Democrats Allison Eckel and Mark Natale for the 8th legislative district’s Assembly seats, holding both for the GOP.
Assemblywoman Jean Stanfield (R-Westampton) additionally leads State Sen. Dawn Addiego (D-Evesham) in the state’s premier Senate race, but has not yet clinched victory.
In January 2019, just over a year after she had won an unexpectedly close re-election contest against Democrat George Youngkin, Addiego – then a Republican – shockingly announced she would switch to the Democratic Party. Addiego had been elected as a Republican legislator for more than a decade, first as an assemblywoman and then as a senator, but she argued she’d be a stronger voice for her constituents if she was in the majority party.
The announcement made Republicans cry foul and Democrats see opportunity in the 8th district. Over the course of the 2019 cycle, they funnelled millions towards Natale and fellow nominee Gina LaPlaca against Assemblyman Ryan Peters (R-Hainesport) and Stanfield, then the Burlington County Sheriff – but came up just short.
This year, Republicans were energized by the idea of defeating the turncoat Addiego and united behind Stanfield, but Democrats were just as eager to protect their new recruit and spent millions of dollars to aid her. The result was the most competitive legislative race in the state.
Final 8th district results:
Stanfield 51.1% // Addiego 48.9%
Torrissi 26.5%, Umba 25.5% // Eckel 24.1%, Natale 23.9%