United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey, 2008

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The 2008 congressional elections in New Jersey were held on November 4, 2008 to determine who would represent the state of New Jersey in the United States House of Representatives. New Jersey has thirteen seats in the House, apportioned according to the 2000 United States Census. Representatives are elected for two-year terms; those elected will serve in the 111th Congress from January 4, 2009 until January 3, 2011. The election coincided with the 2008 U.S. presidential election.

The statewide Party primary elections were held June 3, 2008.

District 3 was the only seat which changed party (from open Republican to Democratic), although CQ Politics had forecasted districts 3, 5 and 7 to be at some risk for the incumbent party.

Overview[edit]

United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey, 2008[1]
Party Votes Percentage Seats +/–
Democratic 1,911,827 55.61% 8 +1
Republican 1,461,820 42.52% 5 -1
Green 12,554 0.37% 0
Libertarian 1,600 0.05% 0
Constitution 1,551 0.05% 0
Independents 48,628 1.41% 0
Totals 3,437,980 100.00% 13

Match-up summary[edit]

District Incumbent 2008 Status Democratic Republican Other Party Independent
1 Rob Andrews Re-election Rob Andrews Dale Glading
2 Frank LoBiondo Re-election Dave Kurkowski Frank LoBiondo Jason Grover,
Constantino Rozzo,
Peter Boyce
David Gary Stein
3 Jim Saxton Open John Adler Chris Myers
4 Chris Smith Re-election Josh Zeitz Chris Smith
5 Scott Garrett Re-election Dennis Shulman Scott Garrett
6 Frank Pallone Re-election Frank Pallone Robert McLeod
7 Mike Ferguson Open Linda Stender Leonard Lance Michael Hsing
8 Bill Pascrell Re-election Bill Pascrell Roland Straten
9 Steve Rothman Re-election Steve Rothman Vince Micco
10 Donald M. Payne Re-election Donald M. Payne Michael Taber
11 Rodney Frelinghuysen Re-election Tom Wyka Rodney Frelinghuysen
12 Rush D. Holt Jr. Re-election Rush D. Holt Jr. Alan Bateman David Corsi
13 Albio Sires Re-election Albio Sires Joseph Turula Louis Vernotico

District 1[edit]

NJ01congressdistrict.gif

This district contains all or parts of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. Rob Andrews was the Democratic nominee and the Saints Prison Ministry founder Dale Glading was the Republican nominee. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'.

Incumbent Democrat Rob Andrews, in a surprise move on April 2, 2008, announced that he would be challenging incumbent Sen. Frank Lautenberg in the Democratic primary in June.[2] His House seat, which is reliably Democratic (CPVI: D+14), thus became an open seat. The filing deadline for primary candidates was April 7, leaving only a few days for candidates to declare.

Andrews' wife, Camille Andrews, won the Democratic primary for his seat in the House, while Andrews himself was beaten by Lautenberg in the Senate primary. After this defeat, Rob Andrews decided to run for re-election to his House seat; Camille withdrew her candidacy on September 3, and Rob Andrews announced that on September 4 that he would take her place as the Democratic candidate. He maintained that his wife had not been merely a placeholder candidate and said that he had only decided to run for re-election a week before he announced it; according to Andrews, his change of heart was a result of personal reflection.[3] Andrews easily won re-election on November 4, receiving 71.9% of the vote.

District 2[edit]

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This district lies in the southern part of the state, containing all or portions of Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May: Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem counties. It has been represented by Republican Frank LoBiondo since 1995, and he ran for re-election in 2008. The Democratic nominee was Cape May city councilman Dave Kurkowski (campaign website). Other candidates included Green Jason Grover, Socialist Constantino Rozzo, Peter Boyce for the Constitution Party, and Independent Gary Stein. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Republican'. LoBiondo defeated Kurkowski in the general election by a margin of almost 20%.

District 3[edit]

NJ03congressdistrict.gif

This district contains all or portions of Burlington, Camden and Ocean counties. The Republican nominee was Chris Myers, Mayor of Medford, VP of Lockheed Martin, and Gulf War veteran. The Democratic nominee was State Senator John Adler, a candidate who faced an outsider disadvantage in that the only city that is in both the 3rd Congressional District and his legislative district is his home town of Cherry Hill. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'No Clear Favorite'.

Incumbent Republican Jim Saxton announced that he would retire at the end of his current term.[4] This district is historically Republican, but George W. Bush barely won with 51% to 49% for John Kerry in 2004 (CPVI=D+3). Also, Al Gore won this district by a significant margin in 2000. Some Democrats think that Saxton had managed to keep his seat for so long (since 1984) because he rarely faced credible opposition.

A mid-September internal poll by McLaughlin & Associates showed Myers defeating Adler by a margin of 33% to 29%, with a plurality of voters - 37% - undecided.[5] The poll attributed Myers’ lead to a general dissatisfaction among voters towards Adler’s negative ads and negative mailers from various political committees supporting the Democrat. It also indicated that Adler’s low approval ratings were partially due to the perception that he is a “career politician” and the fact that he is an Ivy League-educated lawyer. Adler’s association with unpopular Democratic Gov. Jon Corzine also hurt him, while Myers was helped from his endorsement by incumbent Rep. Jim Saxton, who held a 53 percent favorable rating.[6] However, later polls indicated that the race was too close to call.

In the closest congressional race in New Jersey in 2008, Adler narrowly won the open seat, with 51.7% of the vote to Myers' 48.3%.

Many credit Adler's narrow victory to massive turnouts in liberal and African American towns such as Willingboro and Cherry Hill.[citation needed]

District 4[edit]

NJ04congressdistrict.gif

This district lies in the central part of the state, including all or portions of Burlington County, Mercer, Monmouth and Ocean counties. It has been represented by Republican Chris Smith since 1981. The Democratic nominee was author and teacher Josh Zeitz (campaign website). CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Republican'. Smith won re-election in a landslide, garnering about 100,000 more votes than his Democratic challenger.

District 5[edit]

NJ05congressdistrict.gif

This district contains most of the Northern New Jersey Skylands Region of Sussex and Warren counties and stretches along the New York border into Northern Passaic and Bergen Counties, including the townships of Paramus and Ridgewood and tends to lean Republican. Republican incumbent Scott Garrett had been elected by safe margins in the past but in 2006 he only won by 10 points against Paul Aronsohn, the smallest margin of his career. The Democratic nominee was Rabbi Dennis Shulman. Garrett was the only incumbent in the state thought to possibly be at risk. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Republican Favored'. Shulman's campaign enjoyed a successful fundraising operation, heavy funding from the Democratic Party, extensive coverage in the press including newspaper endorsements, and the Democratic wave sweeping the nation as Barack Obama ran for president. However, Garrett was able to defeat Shulman by 14% in the general election and will begin his fourth term in the House of Representatives in 2009.

District 6[edit]

NJ06congressdistrict.gif

This district lies in the east-central part of the state, including all or portions of Middlesex, Monmouth, Somerset and Union counties. It has been represented by Democrat Frank Pallone since 1993. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'. Republican Robert McLeod, a retired municipal prosecutor and municipal judge and former Keyport borough councilman, ran against Pallone, who was re-elected with about two-thirds of the vote.

District 7[edit]

NJ07congressdistrict.gif

This district contains portions of Hunterdon, Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties. The Republican nominee was State Senator (and outgoing Senate Minority Leader) Leonard Lance of Hunterdon County. Assemblywoman Linda Stender was the Democratic nominee for the second consecutive election. Bridgewater Councilman Michael Hsing ran as an independent. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'No Clear Favorite'.

Republican Mike Ferguson barely won his re-election bid in 2006, edging state Assemblywoman Linda Stender by 50% to 48%. In a major surprise, Ferguson announced that he would not run for reelection.[7] George W. Bush narrowly won this district with 53% to 46% for John Kerry in 2004 (CPVI=R+1).

After a tight race in which the two candidates polled fairly evenly for a long time, debated each other twice, and received heavy funding from their respective parties, Lance won the election with 50.8% of the vote.

District 8[edit]

NJ08congressdistrict.gif

This district lies in the north-east part of the state, including all or portions of Essex and Passaic counties. It has been represented by Democrat Bill Pascrell since 1997. With Pascrell running for a seventh term, CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'.

The Republican nominee was Roland Straten, a professional engineer and United States Navy veteran from Paterson.

In the general election, the heavily Democratic district gave 70.9% of the vote to Pascrell—a landslide on par with his 71% against Jose Sandoval in 2006.

District 9[edit]

NJ09congressdistrict.gif

This district lies in the north-east part of the state, including all or portions of Bergen and Hudson and Passaic counties. It has been represented by Democrat Steve Rothman since 1997, and in 2008 he announced that he would seek another term in Congress. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'.

The Republican nominee was Vince Micco, a retired United States Army officer who had served nine years in the military, including one in the Iraq War as a sergeant in a counter-intelligence unit.

Receiving 67.9% of the vote in the general election, Rothman was able to win re-election fairly easily.

District 10[edit]

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This district lies in the north-east part of the state, including all or portions of Essex, Hudson and Union counties. It has been represented by Democrat Donald M. Payne since 1989. Payne ran unopposed in 2006. In 2008, the Republicans again failed to nominate a candidate to oppose Payne, but the Socialist Workers Party nominated Michael Taber, an editor. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'.

Payne was re-elected in a landslide, garnering 99% of the vote.

District 11[edit]

NJ11congressdistrict.gif

This district lies in the north-central part of the state, including all or portions of Essex, Morris, Passaic, Somerset and Sussex counties. It has been represented by Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen since 1995. The Democratic nominee is Tom Wyka (campaign website) of Parsippany-Troy Hills, a certified project manager in the information technology industry who was also the nominee in 2006. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Republican'.

The turnout for this election was much higher than the 2006 contest, but the result was more or less the same: Frelinghuysen defeated Wyka with roughly 62% of the vote.

District 12[edit]

NJ12congressdistrict.gif

This district lies in the central part of the state, including all or portions of Hunterdon, Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset counties. It has been represented by Democrat Rush D. Holt Jr. since 1999. The Republican nominee was Alan Bateman, the deputy mayor of Holmdel Township. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'.

62.5% of the vote went to Holt, giving him a sixth term in Congress.

District 13[edit]

NJ13congressdistrict.gif

This district lies in the north-east part of the state, including all or portions of Essex, Hudson, Middlesex and Union counties. It has been represented by Democrat Albio Sires since November 2006. Sires' Republican challenger was Joseph Turula, a partner in the Jersey City law firm of Turula & Garcia, who served six years on the borough council of Pompton Lakes before moving to Jersey City. Louis Vernotico, a three-time failed candidate for New Jersey Senate, made his first bid for federal office under the slogan "Eliminate the Primary."

CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Safe Democrat'.

In the general election, the heavily Democratic 13th District elected Sires to his second full term. He received 75.3% of the vote, compared to 21.9% for Turula and 2.8% for Vernotico.

References[edit]

External links[edit]


Preceded by
2006 elections
United States House of Representatives elections in New Jersey
2008
Succeeded by
2010 elections