17th Legislative District (New Jersey)

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New Jersey's 17th Legislative District
New Jersey Legislative Districts Map (2011) D17 hl.svg
Senator Bob Smith (D)
Assembly members Joseph V. Egan (D)
Joseph Danielsen (D)
Registration
Demographics
Population 235,142
Voting-age population 184,455
Registered voters 136,611

New Jersey's 17th Legislative District is one of 40 in the New Jersey Legislature. As of the 2011 apportionment, the district includes the Middlesex County municipalities of Milltown Borough, New Brunswick City, North Brunswick Township, Piscataway Township, along with the Somerset County municipality of Franklin Township.[1][2]

Demographic characteristics[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, the district had a population of 235,142, of whom 184,455 (78.4%) were of voting age. The racial makeup of the district was 109,419 (46.5%) White, 45,283 (19.3%) African American, 1,054 (0.4%) Native American, 48,004 (20.4%) Asian, 60 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 23,206 (9.9%) from some other race, and 8,116 (3.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 50,812 (21.6%) of the population.[3] The district had 136,611 registered voters as of December 31, 2016, of whom 65,449 (47.9%) were registered as Unaffiliated, 56,309 (41.2%) were registered as Democrats, 14,403 (10.5%) were registered as Republicans and 450 (0.3%) were registered to other parties.[4]

Home ownership was high. The district had a large population of Asian Americans, third highest in the state, while having the third-smallest population of senior citizens among the 40 legislative districts. Registered Democrats outnumbered Republicans by a 3 to 1 margin.[5][6]

Apportionment history[edit]

Since the 1973 creation of the 40-district legislative map, the 17th District has always been anchored by the city of New Brunswick and Piscataway Township. The 1973 iteration of the district also included Franklin Township and Manville in Somerset County and Highland Park, Middlesex, Dunellen, and South Plainfield.[7] In the 1981 redistricting, the two Somerset County municipalities were shifted to the 14th District while the 17th picked up the Union County city of Plainfield.[8] Dunellen was removed under the 1991 redistricting, but Somerset's Bound Brook was added.[9]

As part of the 2001 apportionment, based on the results of the 2000 United States Census, changes were made which removed Bound Brook (moved to the District 16), Middlesex Borough and Plainfield City (to District 22) and South Plainfield borough (to the District 18) and added Franklin Township (from the 16th Legislative District), Milltown Borough and North Brunswick Township (also from District 18).[10]

Changes to the district made as part of the New Jersey Legislative apportionment in 2011, based on the results of the 2010 Census resulted in the removal of Highland Park (to District 18).[11]

Political representation[edit]

The district is represented for the 2016–2017 Legislative Session (Senate, General Assembly) in the State Senate by Bob Smith (D, Piscataway) and in the General Assembly by Joseph V. Egan (D, New Brunswick) and Joseph Danielsen (D, Franklin Township).[12][13]

Election history[edit]

After 20 years in office, John A. Lynch, Sr. did not run for re-election in 1977, due to illness. Assembly Speaker William J. Hamilton ran for the vacant Senate seat and Joseph D. Patero and David C. Schwartz were the Democratic candidates for Assembly in a district that voted for Democrats by a 2-1 margin.[14]

After losing the support of the Middlesex County Democratic Organization, Assemblymember Angela L. Perun announced in March 1985 that she had switched parties and would run as a Republican in that year's general election, after having served two terms in office as a Democrat and having been a vocal opponent of the Reagan Administration.[15][16] Piscataway mayor Bob Smith was given Perun's spot and the Assembly ballot, and he won election together with incumbent David C. Schwartz.[17]

Despite his confidence that he would win re-election if he chose to run, David C. Schwartz decided not to run for re-election in 1991 after seven terms of office, saying that he was reluctant to serve in the minority party in the new legislative term.[18] Jerry Green took Schwartz's open seat in the general Election.[19]

Bob Smith was elected to his first Senate term in November 2001 to fill the seat vacated after Lynch retired.[20] Jerry Green was relocated to the 22nd Legislative District in redistricting following the 2000 United States Census, and the two open Assembly seats were filled by Upendra J. Chivukula and Joseph V. Egan. Chivukula's election made him the first South Asian to be elected to the New Jersey Legislature and the third Indian American to be elected to a state assembly in the United States.[21][22] Joseph Danielsen was sworn-in to the New Jersey General Assembly on October 16, 2014 to fill the vacant seat of Upendra J. Chivukula, who left office to take a seat as a Commissioner on the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.[23]

Owing to Middlesex County's strong Democratic leanings, the 17th District has never elected a Republican legislator, only being briefly represented by one when Perun switched parties in 1985.[24]

Senators and Assembly members elected from the district are as follows:[25]

Session Senate Assembly
1974–1975 John A. Lynch Sr. (D) William J. Hamilton (D) Joseph D. Patero (D)
1976–1977 William J. Hamilton (D) Joseph D. Patero (D)
1978–1979 William J. Hamilton (D) David C. Schwartz (D) Joseph D. Patero (D)
1980–1981 David C. Schwartz (D) Joseph D. Patero (D)
1982–1983 John A. Lynch Jr. (D) David C. Schwartz (D) Angela L. Perun (D)
1984–1985 John A. Lynch Jr. (D) David C. Schwartz (D) Angela L. Perun (D)
Angela L. Perun (R)[n 1]
1986–1987 David C. Schwartz (D) Bob Smith (D)
1988–1989 John A. Lynch Jr. (D) David C. Schwartz (D) Bob Smith (D)
1990–1991[26] David C. Schwartz (D) Bob Smith (D)
1992–1993 John A. Lynch Jr. (D) Jerry Green (D) Bob Smith (D)
1994–1995[27] John A. Lynch Jr. (D) Jerry Green (D) Bob Smith (D)
1996–1997 Jerry Green (D) Bob Smith (D)
1998–1999[28] John A. Lynch Jr. (D) Jerry Green (D) Bob Smith (D)
2000–2001[29] Jerry Green (D) Bob Smith (D)
2002–2003[30] Bob Smith (D) Joseph V. Egan (D) Upendra J. Chivukula (D)
2004–2005[31] Bob Smith (D) Joseph V. Egan (D) Upendra J. Chivukula (D)
2006–2007 Joseph V. Egan (D) Upendra J. Chivukula (D)
2008–2009 Bob Smith (D) Joseph V. Egan (D) Upendra J. Chivukula (D)
2010–2011[32] Joseph V. Egan (D) Upendra J. Chivukula (D)
2012–2013[33] Bob Smith (D) Joseph V. Egan (D) Upendra J. Chivukula (D)
2014–2015[34] Bob Smith (D) Joseph V. Egan (D) Upendra J. Chivukula (D)[n 2]
Joseph Danielsen (D)[n 3]
2016–2017 Joseph V. Egan (D) Joseph Danielsen (D)
  1. ^ Switched parties on March 14, 1985
  2. ^ Resigned September 30, 2014 to become a Board of Public Utilities commissioner
  3. ^ Appointed to the Assembly on October 16, 2014

Election results[edit]

Senate[edit]

New Jersey general election, 1973[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John A. Lynch 30,912 70.7
Republican Dominic R. Ciardi 12,434 28.4
American John Giammarco 381 0.9
Total votes 43,727 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1977[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William J. Hamilton, Jr. 26,343 59.7
Republican Peter J. Selesky 16,183 36.7
Independent Candidate Walter Jinotti 985 2.2
Repeal Income Tax Edward J. McGlynn 638 1.4
Total votes 44,149 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1981[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John A. Lynch 25,761 60.6
Republican Donald J. Douglas 15,280 35.9
Citizens Paul Lennon 1,484 3.5
Total votes 42,525 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1983[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John A. Lynch 19,703 65.3
Republican Frank A. Santoro 10,449 34.7
Total votes 30,152 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1987[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John A. Lynch 18,585 63.4
Republican James J. Spera 10,729 36.6
Total votes 29,314 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1991[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John A. Lynch 17,053 52.0
Republican Edward R. Tiller 15,718 48.0
Total votes 32,771 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1993[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Lynch 24,806 56.7
Republican Edward R. Tiller 14,981 34.2
Independent Valorie Caffee 3,989 9.1
Total votes 43,776 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1997[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Lynch 27,748 68.0
Republican Timothy J. O’Brien 13,061 32.0
Total votes 40,809 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2001[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 29,290 68.9
Republican Matthew "Skip" House 13,216 31.1
Total votes 42,506 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2003[44]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 17,438 61.0
Republican Jeffrey M. Orbach 11,168 39.0
Total votes 28,606 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2007[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 16,898 61.7
Republican John Costello 10,506 38.3
Total votes 27,404 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2011[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 15,507 64.0
Republican Jordan Rickards 8,715 36.0
Total votes 24,222 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2013[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 22,920 59.8
Republican Brian D. Levine 15,403 40.2
Total votes 38,323 100.0

Assembly[edit]

New Jersey general election, 1973[35]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph D. Patero 29,186 33.8
Democratic William J. Hamilton, Jr. 29,150 33.7
Republican Elizabeth T. Lyons 14,303 16.5
Republican Bruce H. Williams 13,340 15.4
Independent United Aaron G. Bode 454 0.5
Total votes 86,433 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1975[48]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic William J. Hamilton, Jr. 21,776 28.5
Democratic Joseph D. Patero 21,446 28.1
Republican Charles F. Williams 16,844 22.1
Republican Kenneth C. Brennan 16,260 21.3
Total votes 76,326 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1977[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph D. Patero 25,962 29.9
Democratic David C. Schwartz 24,608 28.3
Republican Jeffrey M. Brindle 16,850 19.4
Republican Charles B. W. Durand 16,828 19.4
Independent “D” James D. Nichols 1,288 1.5
Independent Robert J. Zednick 664 0.8
Libertarian William Stewart 382 0.4
Libertarian Michael Fieschko 375 0.4
Total votes 86,957 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1979[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph D. Patero 20,219 31.7
Democratic David C. Schwartz 20,032 31.4
Republican William H. Christensen 12,082 18.9
Republican Robert M. Sherr III 11,543 18.1
Total votes 63,876 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1981[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David C. Schwartz 26,261 31.9
Democratic Angela L. Perun 25,315 30.7
Republican John F. Wilson 15,667 19.0
Republican Gertrude “Trudy” Christiansen 15,105 18.3
Total votes 82,348 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1983[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David C. Schwartz 19,116 32.5
Democratic Angela L. Perun 18,866 32.1
Republican James I. Plummer 10,593 18.0
Republican Charles M. Bivona 9,703 16.5
Libertarian Rich Hoegberg 519 0.9
Total votes 58,797 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1985[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David C. Schwartz 21,174 28.1
Democratic Robert G. Smith 19,556 26.0
Republican Angela L. Perun 19,104 25.4
Republican Francis J. Coury 15,503 20.6
Total votes 75,337 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1987[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic David C. Schwartz 18,455 31.9
Democratic Robert G. Smith 18,047 31.2
Republican Dorothy Sonnenberg 10,780 18.6
Republican Peter J. Selesky 10,529 18.2
Total votes 57,811 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1989[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 26,999 33.6
Democratic David C. Schwartz 26,720 33.3
Republican George B. Gore 13,155 16.4
Republican Csilla Soproni 12,270 15.3
Time For Change Joseph F. Scalera III 1,210 1.5
Total votes 80,354 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1991[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 17,206 26.1
Democratic Jerry Green 16,449 24.9
Republican Barbara “Bobbie” Weigel 15,165 23.0
Republican Frank A. Santoro 14,827 22.5
Equal Justice Committee Moses Williams 818 1.2
Populist ('84-'96) Al Olszewski 759 1.2
The People's Voice Joseph S. Ginn 728 1.1
Total votes 65,952 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1993[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 26,480 32.0
Democratic Jerry Green 25,633 31.0
Republican Al Smith 15,463 18.7
Republican John H. Bresnan 15,217 18.4
Total votes 82,793 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1995[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 17,068 33.6
Democratic Jerry Green 16,611 32.7
Republican Michael De Nardo 7,367 14.5
Republican Michael Ullnick 7,043 13.9
Independent Richard Rutkowski 1,441 2.8
Independent Erich Sturn 1,201 2.4
Total votes 50,731 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1997[53][28]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 27,802 34.5
Democratic Jerry Green 26,135 32.4
Republican Phyllis A. Mason 13,310 16.5
Republican Daniel N. Epstein 11,803 14.6
Conservative Pat M. Iurilli 802 1.0
Conservative Joy Norsworthy 778 1.0
Total votes 80,630 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1999[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Bob Smith 14,516 37.3
Democratic Jerry Green 13,522 34.7
Republican Tracy Ford 5,624 14.4
Republican Daniel N. Epstein 5,275 13.5
Total votes 38,937 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2001[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 27,948 33.8
Democratic Upendra J. Chivukula 26,374 31.9
Republican Catherine Barrier 14,161 17.2
Republican Anthony Mazzola 14,085 17.1
Total votes 82,568 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2003[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 16,143 28.8
Democratic Upendra Chivukula 15,956 28.5
Republican Catherine J. Barrier 10,988 19.6
Republican Scott Johnkins 10,206 18.2
Green Josephine M. Giaimo 1,388 2.5
Green David Hochfelder 1,298 2.3
Total votes 55,979 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2005[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 29,601 34.0
Democratic Upendra J. Chivukula 28,239 32.4
Republican Catherine J. Barrier 15,748 18.1
Republican Salim A. Nathoo 13,507 15.5
Total votes 87,095 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2007[58]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 16,456 31.2
Democratic Upendra J. Chivukula 15,765 29.9
Republican Matthew "Skip" House 10,324 19.6
Republican Leonard J. Messineo 10,257 19.4
Total votes 52,802 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2009[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 29,876 32.4
Democratic Upendra J. Chivukula 28,030 30.4
Republican Anthony Mazzola 18,023 19.5
Republican Salim A. Nathoo 16,419 17.8
Total votes 92,348 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2011[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 15,165 31.9
Democratic Upendra Chivukula 14,862 31.3
Republican Robert S. Mettler 8,876 18.7
Republican Carlo A. DiLalla 8,627 18.2
Total votes 47,530 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2013[34]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 23,763 32.5
Democratic Upendra Chivukula 23,331 31.9
Republican Carlo DiLalla 13,762 18.8
Republican Sanjay Patel 12,281 16.8
Total votes 73,137 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2015[61]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph V. Egan 13,444 33.9
Democratic Joseph F. Danielsen 13,426 33.9
Republican Robert Mettler 6,362 16.0
Republican Brajesh Singh 5,430 13.7
Green Molly O’Brien 985 2.5
Total votes 39,647 100.0

References[edit]

  1. ^ Districts by Number, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 30, 2014.
  2. ^ Municipalities (sorted by 2011 legislative district), New Jersey Department of State. Accessed January 30, 2014.
  3. ^ DP-1: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 - 2010 Demographic Profile Data for General Assembly District 17 (2010), New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed January 30, 2014.
  4. ^ Statewide Voter Registration Summary, New Jersey Department of State, December 31, 2016. Accessed January 16, 2017.
  5. ^ District 17 Profile, Rutgers University, backed up by the Internet Archive as of June 9, 2007. Accessed January 30, 2014.
  6. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book. Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. p. 80. 
  7. ^ "New Jersey Legislative Districts 1974–" (PDF). New Jersey Legislative Services Agency. 1973. Retrieved July 25, 2015. 
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  10. ^ Legislative Districts, New Jersey Legislature, backed up by the Internet Archive as of December 6, 1998. Accessed July 1, 2010.
  11. ^ Municipalities sorted by legislative districts, New Jersey Department of State
  12. ^ Legislative Roster 2016-2017 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 16, 2016.
  13. ^ District 17 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 16, 2016.
  14. ^ Narvaez, Alfonso A. "Democrats Running Strong in Campaigns in 13th, 17th and 21st Districts", The New York Times, October 17, 1977. Accessed July 1, 2010.
  15. ^ Staff. "THE REGION; Jersey Lawmaker Switching Parties", The New York Times, March 15, 1985. Accessed July 1, 2010.
  16. ^ Staff. "ASSEMBLYWOMAN SWITCHES TO REPUBLICAN SIDE", The Philadelphia Inquirer, March 15, 1985. Accessed July 1, 2010.
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  20. ^ Ackerman, Spencer. "To fill Lynch's big shoes, Smith stresses education", The Daily Targum, October 30, 2001. Accessed April 23, 2008. "Now, Assemblyman and former Piscataway Mayor Bob Smith is looking to take over for retiring State Sen. John Lynch, the powerful democrat castigated by his detractors as running 'the Lynch machine'."
  21. ^ Staff. "President of India gives distinguished service award to State Assemblyman Upendra Chivukula", Somerset Reporter, January 15, 2010. Accessed July 1, 2010. "Chivukula is the first and only South Asian lawmaker in the New Jersey Legislature and the only Asian-American member in the General Assembly. "
  22. ^ Kumar, Tanmaya. "'I went from community issues to mainstream politics'", India Abroad, November 16, 2001. Accessed July 1, 2010.
  23. ^ Friedman, Matt. "N.J. Assembly swears in new member from Somerset County", NJ.com, October 16, 2014. Accessed October 19, 2014. "Joseph Danielsen, the municipal chairman of the Franklin Township Democrats, was sworn in today to fill the state Assembly seat just vacated by Democrat Upendra Chivukula, whom Gov. Chris Christie tapped for a seat on the state Board of Public Utilities."
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