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2020 New Jersey Election Results

November 4, 2020

On Tuesday, November 3, 2020, New Jersey voters went to the polls for the Presidential, congressional, two special state legislative and local races, as well as three ballot questions.  Over 3.5 million votes were cast out of 6 million ballots via mail in ballots.  Democrat presidential challenger Joe Biden secured all 14 of New Jersey's electoral votes against President Trump by a 61% to 38% margin. [1]  New Jersey voters also re-elected by a margin of 61% votes for U.S. Senator Cory Booker to 38% for his Republican challenger Rikin Mehta.

Other than two special legislative elections in Morris County, there were no State legislative races since New Jersey is in an “off year” election cycle.  Governor Phil Murphy and the entire 120-member Legislature will be up for election in November 2021.

In two special election contests where not all of the votes have been counted, Republican incumbents Senator Tony Bucco and Assemblywoman Aura Dunn were trailing Democratic challengers Rupande Mehta and Darcy Draeger respectively. With only close to 35% of the vote thus far reported, Mehta is up by 861 votes over Bucco and Draeger 2,289 votes over Dunn.  Given the uncertainty of the results in these two races, is not yet clear whether the Democratic control in both Houses in the New Jersey Legislature will grow.  The Democrats currently hold the majority in Senate (24 to 16) and in the General Assembly (52 to 28).

Democratic Assemblywoman Nancy Pinkin also defeated Republican Joseph Wolak for the Middlesex County Clerk position. Pinkin will take the county office in January and this will trigger a special election to fill the remainder of her term in the Assembly.

Nine of the twelve New Jersey congressional incumbents handily won their races.  There were significant contests in the three remaining districts.  Since the results in the Second Congressional District remain too close to call, it is not yet certain whether the current 10-2 Democrat majority in Congress will shift at all.  Four years ago, the New Jersey delegation was split 6-6. 

  • Second Congressional District (parts of Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, Salem, Burlington, Camden and Gloucester Counties) incumbent Republican Congressman Jeff Van Drew who switched parties is slightly ahead of Democratic candidate Amy Kennedy by a 51% to 48% margin.  The race has not yet been called and with Van Drew leading by 9,563 votes with 75% of the votes counted.  Van Drew currently sits on the House Homeland Security and Education and Labor Committees.
  • Third Congressional District (parts of Burlington and Ocean Counties) Democratic Congressman Andy Kim, was predicted to defeat his challenger Republican David Richter by a 55% to 44% margin.  Richter has not yet conceded this race.  Kim currently sits on the House Armed Services and Small Business Committees and the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
  • Seventh Congressional District (parts of Essex, Hunterdon, Morris, Somerset, Warren and Union Counties) incumbent Democratic Congressman Tom Malinowski is projected to defeat Republican State Senator Tom Kean by a 55% to 44% margin.  Tom Kean has not yet conceded this race.  Malinowski currently sits on the House Committee on Foreign Affairs and Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure.

New Jersey voters also approved by a 67% to 33% majority a statewide ballot question which asked voters whether to legalize adult use of marijuana.  The other two questions to provide for a veterans tax deduction and making changes to the redistricting process also passed by 76% to 24% and 60% to 40% respectively.

A few notable local races include:

In Somerset County, Democrats are likely to take full control of the County Commissioner Board in a race between Paul Drake and Douglas Singleterry who have defeated Republican incumbents Brian Levin and Brian Gallagher.  The Democratic challenger for the County Surrogate position, Tina Jalloh leads Republican Surrogate Frank Bruno.

In Burlington County, incumbent County Commissioners Balvir Singh and Tom Pullion are expected to defeat their Republican challengers.  Democrats already hold all five County Commissioner seats.

Most of the Morris County races are fairly close.  Democrat challenger Cary Amaro currently leads County Commissioner Republican Tayfun Selen.  This could be the first time that a Democrat has won a countywide election since 1973.

In Essex County, incumbent Democrat County Clerk Chris Durkin won his race against his Republican challenger.

The Atlantic County races remain close.  In the race for Sheriff, incumbent Democrat Eric Scheffler appears to have defeated Joseph Donoghue, while the Republican James Curcio is leading Stephen Dicht for the County Surrogate spot.  The County Commissioner races were close.


[1] The percentages reflected in this memo are unofficial and in several instances do not include provisional or additional vote by mail numbers. 

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