New Jersey Democrats gain 3 seats in the Assembly

TRENTON, N.J. (AP) – Here is the latest on the general election in New Jersey. All times local:

1:08 a.m. (Editor’s note) The race for one of the two Assembly seats in the 16th Legislative District in Central New Jersey is too close to call

The district is currently held by Assemblyman Jack Ciattarelli (R-Somerset) and Donna Simon (R-Hunterdon) 

The challengers this year are Andrew Zwicker (D) of South Brunswick and Maureen Vella (D) of Hillsborough.

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Democrat Zwicker has 28 more votes than Republican incumbent Simon. Results are unofficial until certified by county clerks.  

District 16
Percent Reporting: 100%

Jack Ciattarelli* 16488 25.5%
Andrew Zwicker 16176 25.0%
Donna Simon* 16147 24.9%
Maureen Vella 15917 24.6%

The district, which includes portions of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, and Somerset counties, became much more Democratic with a 2011 reapportionment that brought in Princeton and South Brunswick.

12:25 a.m.

New Jersey voters have delivered Democrats a victory in the general election by expanding the party’s control in Trenton by picking up at least three new Assembly seats.

Democrats knocked two Republicans out of office in central New Jersey’s 11th district and also took a seat away from the GOP in southern New Jersey’s 1st District.

New Jersey voters elected to shrink Republican ranks and put Assembly Democrats within striking distance of a veto-proof majority.

The Democrats’ victory is a defeat for Gov. Chris Christie and comes as he tries to persuade Republican presidential primary voters to make him the party’s standard bearer nationally.

Democrats were helped along by General Majority PAC. The outside independent group was largely funded by allies of the state’s biggest teacher’s union.


11:20 p.m.

New Jersey Democrats have picked up at least three seats in the state Assembly, including with an upset in the state’s 11th District.

Democrats Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling defeated Republican incumbent Assemblywomen Mary Pat Angelini and Caroline Casagrande in New Jersey’s 11th District.

Democrats had targeted the traditionally Republican district this year. Republicans have held both seats in the district since 1992.

The shore district is entirely in Monmouth County and includes Asbury Park and Long Branch.

Houghtaling is a Neptune Township council member. Downey is an attorney from Freehold Township.

Democrats also picked up a seat in southern New Jersey.


10:45 p.m.

Two incumbent assemblymen have held on to their seats in southern New Jersey’s 2nd District.

Republican Chris Brown and Democrat Vince Mazzeo won the race on Tuesday.

The Democratic challenger, Atlantic County Freeholder Colin Bell, and Republican challenger Will Pauls were defeated.

The $3.6 million spent on the closely watched race made it the most expensive in the state. Much of the money came from a super political action committee supporting Democrats.


10:30 p.m.

Democratic Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak and running mate Bruce Land beat the Republican ticket in southern New Jersey’s 1st District.

20151104 dems district 1 1200

Incumbent Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak, State Senator Jeff Van Drew and Bruce Land, who ousted Republican incumbent Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi. (Emma Lee/WHYY)

The victory means Democrats gain a new seat in the Assembly and incumbent Republican Assemblyman Sam Fiocchi won’t be returning to the statehouse. Fiocchi’s running mate, Jim Sauro, also lost his race.

Nearly $3 million was spent this year in the closely watched race, with much of the money coming from a super political action committee supporting Democrats.

Land is a former corrections officer who has never held elected office.


10:20 p.m.

Two Democratic incumbents won re-election in the northern New Jersey Assembly district where a Republican initially quit after a book with politically incorrect rants he wrote surfaced.

Tim Eustace and Joe Lagana defeated Republicans Mark DiPisa and Anthony Cappola.

DiPisa and the GOP criticized Cappola’s candidacy after a book Cappola wrote more than a decade ago surfaced. It included rants against gays, Asians and breast-feeding moms.

Cappola took responsibility for the book and initially bowed out of the race, but his name remained on the ballot.

Republicans hoped to capture a seat in the district, but were weighed down by the book. Democrats ran ads referencing the book, and a super political action committee spent money to help the incumbents.


10:15 p.m. 

Here are preliminary results for the four most competitive races

State Assembly District 1

171 of 206 precincts – 83 percent

Bob Andrzejczak, Dem (i) 16,142 – 28 percent

Bruce Land, Dem 15,373 – 27 percent

Sam Fiocchi, GOP (i) 12,714 – 22 percent

Jim Sauro, GOP 12,469 – 22 percent

2 to be elected.

State Assembly District 2

114 of 121 precincts – 94 percent

Chris Brown, GOP (i) 15,909 – 26 percent

Vincent Mazzeo, Dem (i) 15,722 – 26 percent

Colin Bell, Dem 15,149 – 25 percent

Will Pauls, GOP 14,251 – 23 percent

2 to be elected.

State Assembly District 11

158 of 160 precincts – 99 percent

Eric Houghtaling, Dem 14,836 – 25 percent

Joann Downey, Dem 14,602 – 25 percent

Mary Pat Angelini, GOP (i) 14,523 – 25 percent

Caroline Casagrande, GOP (i) 14,285 – 25 percent

2 to be elected.

State Assembly District 16

109 of 185 precincts – 59 percent

Andrew Zwicker, Dem 10,043 – 26 percent

Maureen Vella, Dem 9,832 – 26 percent

Jack Ciattarelli, GOP (i) 9,314 – 24 percent

Donna Simon, GOP (i) 9,251 – 24 percent

2 to be elected.

AP Elections 11-03-2015 22:17

8 p.m.

Polls across New Jersey have closed.

Turnout in the general election where all 80 Assembly seats are up for grabs is predicted to be low.

The Assembly is the top race on the ticket for the first time since 1999 and Democrats are expected to keep control.

Voters also cast ballots for a number of local positions as well, from town council to county executive.

If Democrats keep control of the Assembly, party control of the Legislature will remain unchanged. Democrats also set the agenda in the state Senate.

Republican Chris Christie will remain governor.


4:45 p.m.

An independent political organization pouring money into the general election has spent $3.1 million, mostly to help Democrats.

An analysis released Tuesday by the Center for Public Integrity shows General Majority PAC has spent th e money on broadcast TV ads that aired through Monday. That’s up from the $2.6 million total reported last week.

The airwaves mostly reached voters in southern New Jersey’s 1st and 2nd districts, where Democrats and Republicans each control one Assembly seat.

The analysis looked at advertising on broadcast television from 210 media markets around the country based on data from Kantar Media/CMAG.

These figures cover ads from Jan. 1, 2014, to Monday yet represent only part of the money spent on political advertising.


11:10 a.m.

Gov. Chris Christie joined voters and cast his ballot on Election Day in New Jersey.

Christie voted at the Mendham Township Emergency Services Building on Tuesday.

All 80 Assembly seats top ballots around New Jersey. Democrats hold the majority in the chamber and in the state Senate.

Light voter turnout is expected because there are no statewide races


6 a.m.

Polls in New Jersey are open for the general election.

There are no statewide candidates or issues on the ballots Tuesday. But all 80 seats in the Assembly dominate the tickets, along with county and municipal races.

Light turnout is expected since the Assembly is alone at the top of the ballots for the first time in 16 years.

Democrats hold the majority in the chamber and they hold a fundraising advantage that included help from a super political action committee.

Polls close at 8 p.m.


2 a.m.

All 80 seats are up for grabs, but Democrats are expected to keep their majority in the New Jersey General Assembly.

Particularly heated are the contests in southern New Jersey’s 1st and 2nd districts, where the parties each control one of two seats.

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