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The New Jersey Statehouse in Trenton. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for New Jersey Globe)

Update: 35 petitions for gubernatorial, legislative candidates received but not processed

By David Wildstein, April 06 2021 1:16 am

Following a 10:50 PM update from the state Division of Elections on Monday evening, there are still uncertainties regarding the filing of nominating petitions prior to the 4 PM filing deadline.

Election officials are continuing to review petitions, but here’s an update on where it stands now:


Five candidates for governor are now appearing on an unofficial list of candidates: incumbent Phil Murphy and Roger Bacon for the Democrats; and Jack Ciattarelli, Brian D. Levine and Hirsh Singh for the Republicans.

The Division of Elections has confirmed to the New Jersey Globe that they have received nominating petitions for two additional gubernatorial candidates: Democrat Lisa McCormick and Republican Phil Rizzo.


Petitions for State Sens. Samuel Thompson (R-Old Bridge) and Declan O’Scanlon (R-Little Silver) are not on the unofficial candidates list, but the Division of Elections has confirmed that both lawmakers have filed.

Senate President Steve Sweeney (D-West Deptford) could face a Democratic primary challenge from Mario DeSantis, a teacher, violinist and Our Revolution member from Glassboro.  DeSantis’ petitions were received but not yet processed.

In the 5th district, two Republicans filed to challenge State Sen. Nilsa Cruz-Perez (D-Barrington): Clyde Cook and Keith Walker.  Cook is showing 105 signatures – just five more than the minimum needed to appear on the ballot; Walker’s petitions have not been processed.

Additionally, petitions were received by the 4 PM deadline for eight Senate challengers.

Two incumbent senators — Theresa Ruiz (D-Newark) in the 29th and Paul Sarlo (D-Wood-Ridge) in the 36th – have no Republican general election opponent.   State Sen. Joseph Cryan (D-Union) has two primary rivals, but no Republican filed to run against him in November.

In the 37th, Dierdre Paul did not file to challenge Michael Koontz in the Republican primary.  She had announced last week that she would run.


Assemblywoman Serena DiMaso (R-Holmdel), who lost the support of the Monmouth County Republican organization in her bid for a third term, has filed petitions to run off the line.

Petitions are still under review for Republican challengers in the 5th, 7th, 14th, 18th, 25th, 27th 28th, and 38th districts.

The Division of Elections have not yet processed petitions received from four Republicans running for State Assembly in the 39th: Assemblyman Bob Auth (R-Old Tappan), Assemblywoman-elect DeAnne DeFuccio (R-Upper Saddle River), Saddle River Councilman John Azzariti and former Saddle River Republican Municipal Chairman Jon Kurpis.

Morris County Commissioner Tom Mastrangelo, who entered the race for the GOP State Assembly nomination in the 26th district on Monday, is on the unofficial list of candidates whose petitions were received but not yet considered.

Just one Democratic Assembly candidate filed in the 24th, which will guarantee the re-election of at least one of the GOP incumbents: Parker Space (R-Wantage) or Hal Wirths (R-Wantage).

Update: the Division of Elections has added two Republican candidates for Assembly in the 34th. 

Six Democratic incumbents will have no general election opposition: Assembly Budget Committee Chair Eliana Pintor Marin (D-Newark) and Shanique Speight (D-Newark) in the 29th; Thomas P. Giblin (D-Montclair) and Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange) in the 34th; and Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) and Clinton Calabrese (D-Cliffside Park) in the 36th.

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