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Assemblymembers Claire Swift and Don Guardian. (Photo: Claire Swift & Don Guardian for Assembly via Facebook).

Both parties agree on new shape for the 2nd legislative district

By Joey Fox, February 07 2022 4:13 pm

There are a multitude of differences between the Democratic and Republican proposals for what New Jersey’s legislative map will look like for the next decade, but both parties seem to be in agreement on the configuration of the 2nd district in Atlantic County.

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The Republican-proposed 2nd district; the Democratic proposal is nearly identical, but with Port Republic and Egg Harbor City removed.

Under both proposals, the core of the 2nd district will be combined with Galloway Township, a large and swingy municipality to the north of Atlantic City, while removing Buena, Buena Vista, Mullica, and Folsom. (The maps disagree on two other small municipalities, Egg Harbor Township and Port Republic, which are in the 2nd district on the Republican map and in the 9th on the Democratic map.)

Moving Galloway into the 2nd district is a change that many residents of the township have advocated for throughout the redrawing process. At redistricting hearings, several Gallovidians argued that Galloway has far more in common with the rest of Atlantic County than it does with southern Ocean County and the 9th legislative district, where it has been located for the past decade.

It’s also a change that is mildly favorable to Democrats, though it may only matter in a close race. Galloway is more Republican than Atlantic County overall, but more Democratic than the towns it’s replacing in the 2nd district.

As a result, the two proposed 2nd districts would have voted for Biden by 12 points and for Ciattarelli by seven points, shifting them about one point to the left from the current map.

In other words, the district’s perennial swing status is likely to continue. From 2018 until 2022, the 2nd district was one of the only districts in the state to be represented by legislators of both parties, and while Republicans won a clean sweep in 2021, the new map proposals mean they’re far from locks for re-election in 2023 and beyond.

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