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NJ Open House Seats rarely flip parties

By David Wildstein, January 14 2018 5:08 pm

If Jeff Van Drew wins Frank LoBiondo’s seat in Congress, it will be just the sixth time since World War II that an open New Jersey House seat was won by the other party.

Two of those were in 1948, when Republicans Fred Hartley (of Taft-Hartley fame) and Frank Matthews retired.  Their seats were won by Democrats Peter Rodino, whose 40 years in Congress included national fame as Chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, and Charles Howell, who came within 3,370 votes (less than two-tenths of a percent) from winning an open U.S. Senate seat in 1954.  Democrat Charles Joelson won a Passaic County-based seat in 1960, when ten-term Republican Gordon Canfield retired.

LoBiondo, who won the NJ-02 seat when Democrat Bill Hughes retired in 1994.  The last time it happened was 2008, when Republican Jim Saxton retired and John Adler, a Democrat, took his seat.

Note: This was corrected from an earlier version that omitted Saxton and Adler.

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