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State Sen. Michael Testa. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Testa breaks record for 1st district Senate candidates

GOP incumbent wins by 100 more votes than Van Drew

By David Wildstein, November 17 2021 8:38 pm

Republican Michael Testa, Jr. (R-Vineland) has set records for the biggest plurality ever recorded for a State Senate candidate in the 1st legislative district, and for the most total votes received.

Testa defeated Democrat Yolanda Garcia Balicki by 16,975 votes, a 65%-35% margin, in his bid for re-election to a second term in the Senate.

The previous record was held by Jeff Van Drew, who won his fourth term in 2017 as a Democrat by 16,875 votes.

Republican James Cafiero was re-elected by 13,714 votes in 1977 and by 14,974 in 1993.

Testa’s 41,921 votes in the 2021 general election was significantly higher than the 36,420 that Cafiero received in 1993 or the 25,464 earned by Van Drew four years ago.

Testa won 60% in Cumberland, 67% in Cape May, and 71% in the small part of Atlantic that is in the 1st district.

In 2019, Testa won a special election to fill the unexpired term of Van Drew, who had been elected to Congress.  He ousted incumbent Bob Andrzejczak by 3,585 votes, 53%-46%

The number does not include GOP State Sen. Nicholas Asselta’s 2003 victory, since Democrats did not nominate a candidate that year.

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