Volume 7/Issue 24

  • Murphy/Oliver Ticket Wins
  • Senate President Sweeney Handily Defeats NJEA-backed Candidate
  • Democrats Gain More Seats in the Legislature
  • Local Races

2017 Election Report

Democrats from across New Jersey and at every level of government achieved resounding victories on Tuesday.

Murphy/Oliver Ticket Wins

Governor-elect Phil Murphy and Lt. Governor-elect Sheila Oliver defeated Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno and her running-mate by a double-digit margin, 55%-43%, with most of the major networks calling the race for the Democratic candidate within a few minutes of the polls closing last night.   The Ambassador carried 12 of the state’s 21 counties, including the GOP-leaning counties of Atlantic and Burlington and even came close to achieving 50 percent of the vote in normally Republican stronghold of Somerset County.   His electoral victory is viewed as a significant repudiation of Governor Christie and President’s Trump’s policies by New Jersey voters.

The Governor-elect has pledged to be an activist Governor and to turn the page on the divisiveness in today’s political climate.  His policy priorities include job creation for the middle class, fully funding the State’s school funding formula, raising the New Jersey’s minimum wage to $15 per hour, implementing broad renewable and clean tech energy initiatives to drive the State to use 100-percent carbon-free electricity by 2050, enacting gun safety measures, improving the state’s transportation infrastructure system and especially NJ TRANSIT, and legalizing marijuana.

The Governor-elect is expected to announce his transition team efforts shortly.

Senate President Sweeney Handily Defeats NJEA-backed Candidate

Senate President Steve Sweeney crushed his Republican opponent, Salem County GOP Chairman Fran Grenier, by 59%-41% margin.  It was Senator Sweeney’s largest margin of victory ever.

The contest was the most expensive legislative campaign ever to take place in New Jersey, with almost $13 million spent by independent expenditure groups from both sides of the race, according to campaign reports released last week. The state teacher’s union (NJEA) spent over $4 million alone in their unsuccessful effort to defeat the Senate President. 

Democrats Gain More Seats in the Legislature

The Senate and Assembly Democrats have increased the number of members in their respective caucuses after scoring majoring victories yesterday.

The Democrats picked up an additional seat in the Senate when former Monmouth County Democratic Chairman Vin Gopal defeated incumbent GOP Senator Jennifer Beck in the shore area district that includes Asbury Park.   Democrats also gained the seat of retiring Republican Senator Diane Allen in the Burlington County 7th Legislative District with the victory of Assemblyman Troy Singleton.  Republicans won the competitive 2nd Legislative District Senate seat where GOP Assemblyman Chris Brown defeated interim State Senator Colin Bell.  

Senate Democratic candidates across the State gave several GOP incumbents closer than comfortable races, including in the 16th Legislative District, where Republican Senator Kip Bateman, whose family has a long history in the district, only won by a few hundred votes.

Assembly Democrats picked up two additional seats to increase their majority to 55 seats in the 80-member house.  Democratic challengers picked up open seats previously held by GOP Assembly members in the 2nd and 16th legislative districts.    Assembly Democratic incumbents considered to be in competitive districts all won re-election.

Local Races

Jersey City Mayor Steve Fulop was re-elected by 3-1 margin. 

City Council President Ravi Bhalla defeated several of his fellow council members to win the open mayor’s seat in Hoboken.