26th Legislative District (New Jersey)

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New Jersey's 26th Legislative district
New Jersey State Senator Joseph Pennacchio (R)
New Jersey General Assemblymembers BettyLou DeCroce (R)
Jay Webber (R)
Registration 33.5% Republican
21.4% Democratic
Demographics 82.2% White
1.9% Black/African American
0.2% Native American
12.3% Asian
1.6% Hawaiian/Pacific Islander
1.8% Other race
2.4% Two or more races
6.7% Hispanic
Population 217,839
Voting-age population 168,967
Registered voters 147,872

New Jersey's 26th Legislative District is one of 40 in the New Jersey Legislature. As of the 2011 apportionment, the district includes the Essex County communities of Fairfield Township, North Caldwell Borough, Verona Township and West Caldwell Township; the Morris County municipalities of Butler Borough, Jefferson Township, Kinnelon Borough, Lincoln Park Borough, Montville Township, Morris Plains Borough, Parsippany-Troy Hills Township and Rockaway Township; along with the Passaic County community of West Milford Township.[1][2]

Demographic characteristics[edit]

As of the 2010 Census, the district had a population of 217,839, of whom 168,967 (77.6%) were of voting age. The racial makeup of the district was 178,956 (82.2%) White, 4,223 (1.9%) African American, 377 (0.2%) Native American, 26,695 (12.3%) Asian, 25 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 3,563 (1.6%) from some other race, and 4,000 (1.8%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14,606 (6.7%) of the population.[3] The 26th District had 147,872 registered voters as of November 2013, of whom 66,505 (45.0%) were registered as Unaffiliated, 49,512 (33.5%) were registered as Republicans, 31,717 (21.4%) were registered as Democrats and 138 (0.1%) were registered to other parties.[4]

The Asian population was above the state average, while there were relatively few African American and Hispanic residents in the district. The percentage of children receiving Temporary Assistance for Needy Families was the fourth lowest of any district and the percentage of the population age 65 and over was eighth highest. The district had one of the lowest percentages in the state of registered Democrats, with Republicans outnumbering Democrats by a more than 2–1 margin.[5][6]

Apportionment history[edit]

Changes to the district made as part of the 2011 apportionment include the addition of Fairfield Township (from District 27), Jefferson Township (from District 25), North Caldwell Borough (from District 27), Rockaway Township (from District 25), Verona Township (from District 40) and West Caldwell Township (from District 27). The 2011 apportionment removed Bloomingdale Borough (to District 39), Chatham Borough (to District 21), East Hanover Township (to District 27), Florham Park Borough (to District 27), Hanover Township (to District 27), Pequannock Township (to District 40), Pompton Lakes Borough (to District 40) and Riverdale Borough (to District 40),[7]

Changes to the district made in the 2001 legislative apportionment1 based on the results of the 2000 United States Census added Hanover Township (from the District 25) and West Milford Township (from District 40) and removed Madison Borough (to the District 21), Mountain Lakes Borough (to District 25) and Fairfield Township and West Caldwell Township (to District 27).[8]

Political representation[edit]

For the 2014-2015 Session, the district is represented in the State Senate by Joseph Pennacchio (R, Montville) and in the General Assembly by BettyLou DeCroce (R, Parsippany-Troy Hills) and Jay Webber (R, Morris Plains) and [9][10]

Election history[edit]

In the 1977 Democratic primary for the Senate seat, incumbent Frank J. Dodd faced opposition from Assemblyman Eldridge Hawkins and tennis star Althea Gibson, who was serving as state Athletic Commissioner. Dodd was supported by the Essex County Democratic organization under County Chairman Harry Lerner. With Gibson and Hawkins splitting the anti-organization vote, Dodd won the nomination and the subsequent general election.[11]

In 1983, Leanna Brown challenged her former running-mate, James P. Vreeland, for the Republican nomination for State Senate in the Republican primary in what the Philadelphia Daily News described as a "stunning upset" and was elected to the State Senate, becoming the first woman from the Republican Party to serve in the upper house of the State Legislature.[12][13] In 1993, Brown resigned from the Senate after she was appointed to the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, initially to serve out the unexpired term of Charles J. Irwin. Assemblymember Robert Martin was chosen to fill Brown's vacancy in the Senate.[14]

In December 1988 Governor of New Jersey Thomas Kean nominated Ralph A. Loveys to succeed Joseph A. Sullivan as the chairman of the New Jersey Turnpike Authority[15] In January 1989, Alex DeCroce, a member of the Morris County Board of Chosen Freeholders, was named to fill Loveys' vacant seat in the General Assembly.[16]

Carol Murphy was nominated in February 2001 to serve on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities by Acting Governor of New Jersey Donald DiFrancesco. In February 2001, a special convention of district Republicans chose Joseph Pennacchio to fill the General Assembly seat vacated by Murphy.[17]

Alex DeCroce died on January 9, 2012, after collapsing in a bathroom inside the Statehouse, just moments after the 214th Legislature held its final voting session.[18] On January 25, 2012, his widow, BettyLou DeCroce, was selected by the Morris County Republican Committee to replace him in the Assembly until a November 2012 special election is held.[19]

Session State Senate[20] Assembly[21]
1976-1977 Frank J. Dodd Richard Codey Eldridge Hawkins
1978-1979 Frank J. Dodd Richard Codey Mildred Barry Garvin
1980-1981 Richard Codey Mildred Barry Garvin
1982-1983 James P. Vreeland Leanna Brown Dean Gallo
1984-1985 Leanna Brown Dean Gallo Ralph A. Loveys
1986-1987 Ralph A. Loveys Robert Martin
1988-1989 Leanna Brown Ralph A. Loveys Robert Martin
1990-1991[22] Alex DeCroce Robert Martin
1992-1993 Leanna Brown Alex DeCroce Robert Martin
1994-1995[23] Robert Martin Alex DeCroce Carol Murphy
1996-1997 Alex DeCroce Carol Murphy
1998-1999[24] Robert Martin Alex DeCroce Carol Murphy
2000-2001[25] Alex DeCroce Carol Murphy
2002-2003[26] Robert Martin Alex DeCroce Joseph Pennacchio
2004-2005[27] Robert Martin Alex DeCroce Joseph Pennacchio
2006-2007 Alex DeCroce Joseph Pennacchio
2008-2009 Joseph Pennacchio Alex DeCroce Jay Webber
2010-2011[28] Alex DeCroce Jay Webber
2012-2013 Joseph Pennacchio BettyLou DeCroce Jay Webber
2014-2015[29] Joseph Pennacchio BettyLou DeCroce Jay Webber


  1. ^ Districts by Number, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 18, 2014.
  2. ^ Municipalities (sorted by 2011 legislative district), New Jersey Department of State. Accessed February 18, 2014.
  3. ^ DP-1: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 - 2010 Demographic Profile Data for General Assembly District 26 (2010), New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Statewide Voter Registration Summary, New Jersey Department of State, November 28, 2013. Accessed February 1, 2014.
  5. ^ District 26 Profile, Rutgers University. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  6. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book. Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. p. 119. 
  7. ^ Municipalities Index, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 27, 2012.
  8. ^ Legislative Districts, New Jersey Legislature, backed up by the Internet Archive as of December 6, 1998. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  9. ^ Legislative Roster 2014-2015 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 18, 2014.
  10. ^ District 26 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 18, 2014.
  11. ^ Waldron, Martin. "Legislature: Familiar Faces Go", The New York Times, June 12, 1977. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  12. ^ Staff. "N.J. VOTERS GO TO THE POLLS", Philadelphia Daily News, June 8, 1983. Accessed October 7, 2010. "James Vreeland, R-Morris, who was defeated by Assemblywoman Leanna Brown in a stunning upset."
  13. ^ Staff. "Lipman honored", The Washington Afro American, May 24, 1988. Accessed October 7, 2010.
  14. ^ Cichowski, John. "SENATE DESIGNEE ATTACKS DORSEY", The Record (Bergen County), August 5, 1993. Accessed June 11, 2010.
  15. ^ via Associated Press. "METRO DATELINES; Legislator Is Picked To Head Turnpike", The New York Times, December 28, 1988. Accessed October 7, 2010.
  16. ^ Staff. "ASSEMBLY PASSES MEDICAL-WASTE TRACKING BILL", Philadelphia Inquirer, January 27, 1989. Accessed October 7, 2010. "In other action, Morris County Freeholder Alex DeCroce was sworn in yesterday to fill the unexpired Assembly seat held by Ralph Loveys (R., Morris)."
  17. ^ Simon, Darran. "GOP PICKS PENNACCHIO", Daily Record (Morristown), February 26, 2001. Accessed October 7, 2010.
  18. ^ N.J. Assemblyman Alex DeCroce collapses, dies in Statehouse after long legislative session, NJ.com. Accessed April 15, 2008.
  19. ^ Dan Goldberg (2012-01-26). "BettyLou DeCroce to assume N.J. Assembly seat, succeed husband in 2 weeks". The Star-Ledger. Retrieved 2012-01-26. 
  20. ^ NJ Senate District 26 - History, OurCampaigns.com. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  21. ^ NJ Assembly 26 - History, OurCampaigns.com. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  22. ^ Staff. "Vote Totals for the Elections Held on Tuesday in New York and New Jersey", The New York Times, November 9, 1989. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  23. ^ Sullivan, Joseph F. "THE 1993 ELECTIONS: New Jersey Legislature; Cut Taxes 30 Percent? Whitman's Top Statehouse Allies Say Not So Fast", The New York Times, November 4, 1993. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  24. ^ Staff. "THE 1997 ELECTIONS: RESULTS; The Races for the New Jersey Assembly", The New York Times, November 5, 1997. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  25. ^ Kocieniewski, David. "THE 1999 ELECTIONS: NEW JERSEY ASSEMBLY; Democrats Win Seats in Three Districts, Narrowing Republicans' Majority", The New York Times, November 3, 1999. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  26. ^ Staff. "THE 2001 ELECTIONS; RESULTS -- The Races for New Jersey", The New York Times, November 8, 2001. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  27. ^ Kocieniewski, David. "THE 2003 ELECTION: THE STATEHOUSE; Democrats Seize Senate And Widen Assembly Gap", The New York Times, November 5, 2003. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  28. ^ Staff. "2009 Election Results", The New York Times, November 9, 2009. Accessed October 6, 2010.
  29. ^ Official List; Candidates for General Assembly For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2013 Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 4, 2013. Accessed February 18, 2014.