The Apportionment Commission is set to meet at 2 PM on Friday to formally approve a legislative redistricting deal map approved by Democrats and Republicans on Thursday and tentatively supported by the court-appointed 11th member, former Judge Philip Carchman.
The new map, which will begin with the 2023 election and remain in effect until 2031, creates Democratic primaries between two pairs of Democratic senators in Essex and Hudson counties. It also reassigns six members of the State Assembly, although no more than two incumbents in the lower house will be in any one legislative district.
The deal map also boosts the re-election prospects of newly-elected GOP legislators in South Jersey’s 2nd, 3rd and 8th districts, and gives Republicans a narrow path to win majorities in the legislature in a political environment that works against the Democrats.
At least one commission member, former Senate Minority Leader Thomas Kean, Jr., plans to vote no.
“There should have been more time to negotiate for a fairer map,” Kean said.
Here is the framework to the new map:
* The 27th district puts two Democratic state senators, former Gov. Richard Codey and Nia Gill, into a district that includes Livingston, Millburn, Roseland, West Orange, Montclair and Clifton. This district includes two veteran assemblymen, John McKeon (D-West Orange) and Thomas P. Giblin (D-Montclair). Codey was first elected to the legislature in 1973 and Gill in 1995.
* The newly-drawn 34th includes East Orange, Belleville, Bloomfield, Glen Ridge, Orange and Nutley. The Essex County Democratic organization line for State Senate will likely go to Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-East Orange). Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Nutley) is now in the 34th, with an open Assembly seat if Timberlake runs for Senate.
* Assemblywoman Mila Jasey (D-South Orange) will now shift from a suburban district that included parts of West Essex and part of Morris County to the 28th district, which includes part of Newark, Irvington, South Orange, Maplewood – and now Hillside in Union County. That could put Jasey on a ticket with State Sen. Ronald Rice (D-Newark) and Assemblywoman Cleopatra Tucker (D-Newark).
* Two Hudson County powerhouses, State Sen./North Bergen Mayor Nicholas Sacco and State Sen./Union City Mayor Brian Stack, will now be in the same district and could wind up facing off in the Democratic primary. In addition to North Bergen and Union City, the new district includes Guttenberg, Secaucus, West New York and Weehawken. Sacco’s two Assembly running mates, Assemblywoman Angelica Jimenez (D-West New York) and Pedro Mejia (D-Secaucus), are now in this district.
* A new Hudson district includes part of Jersey City and Hoboken. Assembly Judiciary Committee Chairman Raj Mukherji (D-Jersey City) could wind up in the Senate, something that would double the number of South Asian Americans in the upper house. Assemblywoman Annette Chaparro (D-Hoboken) is also in this district. If Mukherji goes to the Senate, his Assembly seat would almost certainly go to Jersey City.
* The 31st district, which has included Bayonne and part of Jersey City for the last 48 years, will add Kearny. Two other Hudson municipalities, Harrison and East Newark, will shift to the Essex County-based 29th district.
The two Morris legislative districts have been substantially redrawn; instead of two east-to-west districts, they will each go north-to-south, flipping the districts of two incumbent GOP assemblymen:
* Freshman Assemblyman Christian Barranco (R-Jefferson) will now join State Sen. Anthony M. Bucco (R-Boonton Township) and Assemblywoman Aura Dunn (R-Mendham) in the 25th. The new boundaries will include Boonton Township, Dover, Harding, Jefferson, Madison, Mendham Borough, Mendham Township, Mine Hill, Morris Township, Morristown, Mount Olive, Randolph, Rockaway Borough, Rockaway Township, Victory Gardens and Wharton in Morris County, and West Milford in Passaic County.
* The new 26th will add Assemblyman Brian Bergen (R-Denville) to the team of State Sen. Joseph Pennacchio (R-Montville) and Assemblyman Jay Webber (R-Morris Plains). New lines will include Parsippany, Boonton, Butler, Denville, East Hanover, Florham Park, Hanover, Kinnelon, Lincoln Park, Montville, Mountain Lakes, Pequannock, and Riverdale, as well as Bloomingdale, Pompton Lakes, Ringwood and Wanaque in Passaic County.
* The 40th district, now represented by State Sen. Kristin Corrado (R-Totowa) and Assemblymen Christopher DePhillips (R-Wyckoff) and Kevin Rooney (R-Wyckoff), will pick up Hawthorne in Passaic County, and Essex Fells, Caldwell, North Caldwell and West Caldwell in Essex. It will shed four Bergen County municipalities – Allendale, Ho-Ho-Kus, Midland Park, and Waldwick will shift to the 39th. The 40th will also lose Pompton Lakes in Passaic and Pequannock and Riverdale in Morris. District 39 will no longer have any part of Passaic County.
* District 23 will now include all Warren County municipalities but Allamuchy and Independence.
* The 36th district will add Edgewater and Fairview, which had spent the last decade in the Hudson County-based 32nd district.
* Three newly-elected GOP legislators, including State Sen. Ed Durr (D-Swedesboro), with Bridgeton — which Steve Sweeney carried by 792-votes (71%) vote in 2021 — now moves to the 1st district. Instead, the 3rd district gets some Republican-leaning town in western Cumberland County. Paulsboro and West Deptford stay in District 3.
* Atlantic County’ 2nd district, which has been the most competitive in the state for the last 50 years, remains so. But the addition of Galloway is a boost to the re-election prospects of a Republican senator and two Republicans who flipped Assembly seats last year.
* The 4th district map originally submitted by Republicans last week remains intact and gives the GOP a chance to flip a district that GOP gubernatorial candidate Jack Ciattarelli won 52.5% to 46.8% in 2021. It loses the Camden County towns of Clementon, Laurel Springs, and Lindenwold, as well as Pitman in Gloucester County. Instead, it adds Waterford, a Camden County township that Ciattarelli carried with 63% of the vote in last year’s gubernatorial election, as well as the Atlantic County municipalities of Buena and Buena Vista.
* The 8th district adds Tabernacle, Washington and Bass River in Burlington and Folsom and Mullica in Atlantic.
* The Monmouth-based 11th district – the only one that elected a Democrat to the Senate and two Republicans to the Assembly last year – becomes just slightly more Democratic. It adds Bradley Beach and Fair Haven, and loses West Long Branch, which Gov. Phil Murphy lost by 813 votes, a margin of nearly 2-1.
* The 16th district becomes slightly more Republican with the trade of Somerville, which Murphy won by 598 votes, to the 23rd district for four Hunterdon County municipalities – Clinton, Clinton Township, High Bridge and Lebanon Borough and Lebanon Township – which Ciattarelli won by 2,446 votes.
* District 21 becomes a little more Republican. It loses Cranford and Roselle park to the 22nd and Kenilworth to the 20th and adds Chatham Township in Morris, Bernardsville and Peapack-Gladstone in Somerset, and Dunellen, and Middlesex Borough in Middlesex, and Green Brook in Somerset.