Last week’s primary election in New Jersey was without surprises with a roughly 10 percent voter turnout of the 6.4 million registered voters in the state. The twelve House members seeking re-election in November were on the top of the ticket. This was the first early voting primary in the state, which nevertheless produced a very poor voter turnout.
The highlights of the state’s congressional races, the first after redistricting altered New Jersey’s twelve districts:
Thomas Kean, Jr. (R), the former minority leader of the New Jersey State Senate, will get a rematch with Rep. Tom Malinowski (D) in the 7th District. Kean won with about 46 percent of the vote in a seven-candidate field.
Frank Pallotta (R) will also get another chance to take on Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D) in the 5th District after narrowly defeating Republican Marine combat veteran Nick De Gregorio, in the primary.
Rep Andy Kim (D) will face Bob Healey, Jr. (R), the owner of a yacht company with1600 employees in the 3rd District. Healy easily defeated Ian Smith who had achieved some fame as a critic of Gov. Phil Murphy’s business closures and masking policies during the pandemic, but he was outspent and hampered by a drunk driving arrest in March.
In the 11th District, Paul DeGroot (R), a former Passaic County assistant prosecutor, was victorious in a crowded Republican primary race, and will take on Rep. Mikie Sherrill (D).
Rep. Chris Smith (R) won the Republican primary for a 22nd term defeating podcaster Mike Crispi in the 4th District. Crispi had moved to the district to take on Smith and hired Roger Stone as his campaign consultant, but he was never able to secure an endorsement from Donald Trump and was significantly outspent by Smith, who had organization lines in Monmouth and Ocean counties.
In the 4th Congressional District, Monmouth County Commissioner Sue Kiley (R) will face the chairman of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Rep. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D).
In the 2nd Congressional District, Tim Alexander, a former prosecutor and law enforcement official, captured the Democratic nomination and will run against Rep. Jeff Van Drew.