Few surprises, low turnout anticipated in NJ’s off-year primary

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, delivers his State Of The State to a large crowd in the Assembly Chambers of the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, delivers his State Of The State to a large crowd in the Assembly Chambers of the Statehouse, Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2013, in Trenton, N.J. (Mel Evans/AP Photo)

Every seat in New Jersey’s Assembly is up for election this year, but analysts say only a few races will be competitive.

Nearly 200 major party candidates — 91 Democrats and 86 Republicans — have filed to run for Assembly in the June 2 primary, but Monmouth University Polling Institute director Patrick Murray said 73 of the 80 potential primary contests lack challengers.

“If you don’t have the support of the party there, and you don’t have the party line on the ballot, most people don’t even bother to waste their resources because they know it’s a losing battle,” Murray said.

Murray says Hudson County races are generating some interest after the Democratic Party turned its back on Assembly incumbents. In Union County, two Democrats supported by the Elizabeth Board of Education are challenging incumbents.

But Rider University’s Ben Dworkin, a professor of political science, anticipates the party-backed candidates are likely to win the primary races — unless a challenger has a tremendous amount of money or launches a dramatic ad or allegation against an opponent.

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