20th Legislative District (New Jersey)

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New Jersey's 20th Legislative District
New Jersey Legislative Districts Map (2011) D20 hl.svg
Senator Raymond Lesniak (D)
Assembly members Annette Quijano (D)
Jamel Holley (D)
Registration
Demographics
Population 210,628
Voting-age population 159,952
Registered voters 120,588

New Jersey's 20th Legislative District is one of 40 in the New Jersey Legislature. As of the 2011 apportionment, the district includes the Union County municipalities of Elizabeth City, Hillside Township, Roselle Borough and Union Township.[1][2]

Demographic characteristics[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, the district had a population of 210,628, of whom 159,952 (75.9%) were of voting age. The racial makeup of the district was 111,978 (53.2%) White, 54,600 (25.9%) African American, 1,192 (0.6%) Native American, 9,387 (4.5%) Asian, 46 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 25,490 (12.1%) from some other race, and 7,898 (3.7%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 89,691 (42.6%) of the population.[3] The district had 120,588 registered voters as of December 31, 2016, of whom 47,076 (39.0%) were registered as unaffiliated, 64,514 (53.5%) were registered as Democrats, 8,525 (7.1%) were registered as Republicans, and 473 (0.4%) were registered to other parties.[4]

The district has a higher-than-average percentage of residents who are foreign born (at 35.6%, the 3rd highest of all 40 districts in the state), Hispanic (5th highest of any district statewide) and African American (11th highest). The number and percentage of registered voters is lowest in the state. Registered Democrats outnumber Republicans by a better than 4 to 1 margin, with Republican registration percentage one of the lowest of any district statewide.[5][6]

Apportionment history[edit]

When the 40-district legislative map was created in 1973, the 20th was a central Union County-based district including Westfield, Garwood, Cranford, Roselle, Roselle Park, Union Township, and Hillside Township.[7] In the 1981 redistricting, the 20th District received completely new municipalities in eastern Union County including Elizabeth, Linden, Rahway, and Carteret in Middlesex County, New Jersey.[8] Carteret was removed from the district following the 1991 redistricting but Roselle was added from the 21st District.[9]

Changes to the district made as part of the New Jersey Legislative redistricting in 2001, based on the results of the 2000 United States Census removed Linden and Rahway (both to the 22nd Legislative District) and added Kenilworth and Union Township (both from the 21st District).[10] As part of the 2011 apportionment, Hillside was added from the 29th District, while Kenilworth Borough was shifted to the 21st District.[2]

Political representation[edit]

The district is represented for the 2016–2017 Legislative Session (Senate, General Assembly) in the State Senate by Raymond Lesniak (D, Elizabeth) and in the General Assembly by Annette Quijano (D, Elizabeth) and Jamel Holley (D, Roselle).[11][12]

Election history[edit]

In the 1973 State Senate race, Alexander J. Menza defeated incumbent Republican Frank X. McDermott, who had served 10 years in office, helping the Democrats gain control of the state legislature for only the third time in the 20th century.[13]

In the 1975 elections, McDermott made a comeback and won a seat in the Assembly.[14] In the 1977 Senate race, Menza chose not to run for re-election (he would run a distant third in the 1978 United States Senate primaries). McDermott ran again for the seat, losing to Democrat Anthony E. Russo.[15]

In redistricting following the 1980 United States Census, C. Louis Bassano was shifted to the 21st Legislative District, where he ran for (and won) the State Senate seat. Chuck Hardwick was also shifted to the 21st District, where he would win the Assembly seat.[16] With both seats open, Democrats Thomas J. Deverin and Raymond Lesniak, who had both previously served as representatives of the 21st District, won in the Assembly. In the Senate race that year, Anthony E. Russo was also shifted to the 21st District and was replaced by John T. Gregorio, an incumbent Democrat who was shifted from the 21st District.[17]

Gregorio was forced to resign in 1983 after being convicted of conspiracy for concealing his ownership of two go-go bars that were operated by his son.[18][19] In a June 1983 special election, Lesniak won the seat Gregorio was forced to vacate. In turn, another special election was held in August 1983 to fill Lesniak's vacancy, a race that was won by Thomas W. Long.[20]

After five terms in the 20th District, Thomas J. Deverin was relocated to the 19th Legislative District in 1991, with redistricting following the 1990 Census tending to favor Republicans.[21] In the 1991 Republican landslide, the 20th bucked the trend, with incumbent George Hudak and Elizabeth Mayor Thomas G. Dunn narrowly holding on to the seats for the Democrats. Hudak and Dunn did not run for re-election in 1993.

In the 1993 election, two former Union County Freeholders, Joseph Suliga and Neil M. Cohen (the latter also served in the Assembly from 1990 to 1992 from the 21st District) were elected. Suliga represented the district in the Assembly until 2002, when he was shifted to the 22nd Legislative District as part of the 2001 redisticting, and was elected to the State Senate.[22]Joseph Cryan was elected to the Assembly in 2001, filling Suliga's Assembly seat.

Cohen resigned from the Assembly on July 24, 2008, after images of child pornography were found on his state-issued computer.[23] Democratic committee members from the district selected Annette Quijano to fill Cohen's vacancy.[24]

Joseph Cryan stepped down on January 4, 2015 to become Union County Sheriff. [25] The Union County Democrats selected Roselle Mayor Jamel Holley as his replacement on January 21, 2015.[26]

Senators and Assembly members elected from the district are as follows:[27]

Session Senate Assembly
1974–1975 Alexander J. Menza (D) John J. McCarthy (D) Joseph L. Garrubbo (D)
1976–1977 C. Louis Bassano (R) Frank X. McDermott (R)
1978–1979 Anthony E. Russo (D) C. Louis Bassano (R) Chuck Hardwick (R)
1980–1981 C. Louis Bassano (R) Chuck Hardwick (R)
1982–1983 John T. Gregorio (D)[n 1] Thomas J. Deverin (D) Raymond Lesniak (D)[n 2]
Raymond Lesniak (D)[n 2] Thomas W. Long (D)[n 3]
1984–1985 Raymond Lesniak (D) Thomas J. Deverin (D) Thomas W. Long (D)
1986–1987 Thomas J. Deverin (D) George Hudak (D)
1988–1989 Raymond Lesniak (D) Thomas J. Deverin (D) George Hudak (D)
1990–1991[29] Thomas J. Deverin (D) George Hudak (D)
1992–1993 Raymond Lesniak (D) Thomas G. Dunn (D) George Hudak (D)
1994–1995[30] Raymond Lesniak (D) Neil M. Cohen (D) Joseph Suliga (D)
1996–1997 Neil M. Cohen (D) Joseph Suliga (D)
1998–1999[31] Raymond Lesniak (D) Neil M. Cohen (D) Joseph Suliga (D)
2000–2001[32] Neil M. Cohen (D) Joseph Suliga (D)
2002–2003[33] Raymond Lesniak (D) Neil M. Cohen (D) Joseph Cryan (D)
2004–2005[34] Raymond Lesniak (D) Neil M. Cohen (D) Joseph Cryan (D)
2006–2007 Neil M. Cohen (D) Joseph Cryan (D)
2008–2009 Raymond Lesniak (D) Neil M. Cohen (D)[n 4] Joseph Cryan (D)
Annette Quijano (D)[n 5]
2010–2011[35] Annette Quijano (D) Joseph Cryan (D)
2012–2013 Raymond Lesniak (D) Annette Quijano (D) Joseph Cryan (D)
2014–2015[36] Raymond Lesniak (D) Annette Quijano (D) Joseph Cryan (D)[n 6]
Jamel Holley (D)[n 7]
2016–2017 Annette Quijano (D) Jamel Holley (D)
  1. ^ Terminated on March 15, 1983 after a criminal conviction[28]
  2. ^ a b Elected to the Senate in June 7, 1983 special election, sworn in on June 16, 1983
  3. ^ Elected to the Assembly in August 2, 1983 special election, sworn in on September 6, 1983
  4. ^ Resigned July 28, 2008
  5. ^ Appointed to the Assembly on September 25, 2008, won November 4, 2008 special election to complete term
  6. ^ Resigned January 4, 2015 to become Union County Sheriff
  7. ^ Appointed to the Assembly on January 21, 2015

Election results[edit]

Senate[edit]

New Jersey general election, 1973[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Alexander J. Menza 34,040 56.3
Republican Francis X. McDermott 26,084 43.2
Individualist Oscar B. Johannsen 305 0.5
Total votes 60,429 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1977[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Anthony E. Russo 30,057 50.8
Republican Francis X. McDermott 29,067 49.2
Total votes 59,124 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1981[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John T. Gregorio 25,340 52.3
Republican John Fenick 23,087 47.7
Total votes 48,427 100.0
Special election, June 7, 1983[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 12,322 65.1
Republican Alfred D. Palermo 5,214 27.5
Independent Harold J. Young 733 3.9
Inflation Fighting Housewife Rose Zeidwerg Monyek 670 3.5
Total votes 18,939 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1983[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 23,246 64.5
Republican Alfred D. Palermo 11,868 32.9
Inflation Fighting Housewife Rose Zeidwerg Monyek 389 1.1
Beam the Bomb Joseph P. Scanlon 305 0.8
Independent Harold J. Young 217 0.6
Total votes 36,025 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1987[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 23,183 100.0
Total votes 23,183 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1991[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 16,733 57.1
Republican Jeffrey B. Cohen 12,585 42.9
Total votes 29,318 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1993[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 23,845 59.9
Republican William P. Wnuck 15,945 40.1
Total votes 39,790 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1997[43]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 26,699 69.1
Republican Gene Andre 11,928 30.9
Total votes 38,627 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2001[22]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 22,817 80.0
Schundler for Governor Daniel M. Nozza 5,698 20.0
Total votes 28,515 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2003[44]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 12,361 62.2
Republican Daniel M. Nozza 7,217 36.3
Restore NJ State Shawn P. Gianella 298 1.5
Total votes 19,876 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2007[45]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 9,760 58.7
Republican Linda Gaglione 4,478 26.9
Clean Up Government Stanley J. Moskal 2,387 14.4
Total votes 16,625 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2011[46]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 12,510 75.5
Republican Helen S. Rosales 4,052 24.5
Total votes 16,562 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2013[47]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 21,251 100.0
Total votes 21,251 100.0

Assembly[edit]

New Jersey general election, 1973[37]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph L. Garrubbo 32,703 28.5
Democratic John J. McCarthy 31,853 27.8
Republican C. Louis Bassano 26,550 23.1
Republican Charles S. Tracy 23,607 20.6
Total votes 114,713 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1975[48]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Frank X. McDermott 29,162 26.6
Republican C. Louis Bassano 28,212 25.7
Democratic Joseph L. Garrubbo 27,056 24.7
Democratic Brian William Fahey 25,253 23.0
Total votes 109,683 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1977[38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican C. Louis Bassano 31,819 27.9
Republican Charles L. Hardwick 29,540 25.9
Democratic Vincent P. Baldassano 26,327 23.1
Democratic Daniel J. Mason 25,704 22.5
U.S. Labor Bruce Todd 783 0.7
Total votes 114,173 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1979[49]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican C. Louis Bassano 29,672 31.7
Republican Chuck Hardwick 28,707 30.7
Democratic E. Jonathan Bell 17,823 19.0
Democratic William A. Cambria 17,359 18.6
Total votes 93,561 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1981[16]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Raymond J. Lesniak 32,243 33.0
Democratic Thomas J. Deverin 30,147 30.9
Republican Blanche Banasiak 18,252 18.7
Republican James J. Fulcomer 17,069 17.5
Total votes 97,711 100.0
Special election, August 2, 1983[20]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas W. Long 3,523 82.3
Independent Like You Henry Kielbasa 758 17.7
Total votes 4,281 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1983[39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas J. Deverin 23,757 34.9
Democratic Thomas W. Long 23,700 34.8
Republican Andrew Fydryszewski 10,480 15.4
Republican Mark E. Pena 10,187 15.0
Total votes 68,124 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1985[50]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas J. Deverin 19,892 25.5
Democratic George Hudak 18,085 23.1
Republican Michael A. Posnock 14,617 18.7
Republican Alice A. Holzapfel 13,134 16.8
Experienced-Competent-Courageous Tom Dunn 10,174 13.0
"Inflation Fighting Housewife" Rose Zeidwerg Monyek 2,240 2.9
Total votes 78,142 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1987[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Thomas J. Deverin 21,702 37.8
Democratic George Hudak 21,380 37.2
Republican William Wnuck 7,181 12.5
Republican Peter Kobylarz 7,155 12.5
Total votes 57,418 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1989[51]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George Hudak 27,871 35.8
Democratic Thomas J. Deverin 27,848 35.8
Republican Thomas C. Cusmano 10,653 13.7
Republican Jeffrey B. Cohen 10,469 13.5
Populist ('84-'96) Kevin F. Brown 973 1.3
Total votes 77,814 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1991[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic George Hudak 15,032 26.7
Democratic Tom Dunn 14,442 25.7
Republican Richard E. Hunt 13,555 24.1
Republican Philip G. Gentile 13,188 23.5
Total votes 56,217 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1993[42]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil M. Cohen 20,676 25.9
Democratic Joseph Suliga 20,300 25.5
Republican Richard Hunt 14,329 18.0
Republican Carmen Mendiola 12,905 16.2
For the People Thomas W. Long 8,099 10.2
The Peoples Candidate Jerry L. Coleman 3,388 4.3
Total votes 79,697 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1995[52]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil M. Cohen 14,838 34.8
Democratic Joseph S. Suliga 14,697 34.5
Republican Thomas Rocco 5,730 13.4
Republican Richard Revilla 5,724 13.4
Independent Dorothy De Laura 856 2.0
Independent David Csuray 799 1.9
Total votes 42,644 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1997[53]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph S. Suliga 26,348 35.0
Democratic Neil M. Cohen 26,242 34.8
Republican Daniel B. Levine 11,380 15.1
Republican Richard A. Revilla 11,366 15.1
Total votes 75,336 100.0
New Jersey general election, 1999[54]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil M. Cohen 14,532 38.4
Democratic Joseph S. Suliga 14,195 37.5
Republican Dirk Weber 4,606 12.2
Republican Elvira Drzewinski 4,553 12.0
Total votes 37,886 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2001[55]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil M. Cohen 22,457 41.3
Democratic Joseph Cryan 22,162 40.8
Schundler for Governor Dency J. Rivera 4,877 9.0
Schundler for Governor Ralph J. Fabre 4,852 8.9
Total votes 54,348 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2003[56]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil M. Cohen 12,035 31.4
Democratic Joseph Cryan 12,016 31.3
Republican A. Tony Monteiro 7,515 19.6
Republican Aristo Carranza 6,821 17.8
Total votes 38,387 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2005[57]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil M. Cohen 23,668 50.3
Democratic Joseph Cryan 23,345 49.7
Total votes 47,013 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2007[58]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Neil Cohen 10,000 36.7
Democratic Joseph Cryan 9,583 35.2
Clean Up Government Marlene J. Abitanto 3,858 14.2
Clean Up Government Lester Dominguez 3,810 14.0
Total votes 27,251 100.0
Special election, November 4, 2008[59]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Annette Quijano 35,746 71.2
Republican Linda Gaglione 14,458 28.8
Total votes 50,204 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2009[60]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph Cryan 20,607 50.7
Democratic Annette Quijano 20,054 49.3
Total votes 40,661 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2011[61]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Annette Quijano 12,116 42.7
Democratic Joseph Cryan 12,104 42.7
Republican John F. Donoso 4,128 14.6
Total votes 28,348 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2013[36]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Joseph Cryan 19,268 36.3
Democratic Annette Quijano 18,839 35.5
Republican Charles Donnelly 7,719 14.5
Republican Christopher Hackett 7,269 13.7
Total votes 53,095 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2015[62]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Annette Quijano 12,061 39.4
Democratic Jamel Holley 11,568 37.8
Republican Stephen E. Kozlovich 3,593 11.7
Republican Roger Stryeski 3,398 11.1
Total votes 30,620 100.0

References[edit]

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  2. ^ a b Municipalities (sorted by 2011 legislative district), New Jersey Department of State. Accessed February 1, 2014.
  3. ^ DP-1: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 from the 2010 Demographic Profile Data for the General Assembly District 20 (2010), New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 1, 2014.
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  5. ^ District 20 Profile, Rutgers University. Accessed July 12, 2010.[dead link]
  6. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book. Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. p. 89. 
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  24. ^ via Associated Press. "Dems choose Cohen's successor", The Press of Atlantic City, August 21, 2008. Accessed July 15, 2010.
  25. ^ Democrats to fill longtime legislator Joseph Cryan's Assembly seat, nj.com. Accessed April 23, 2015.
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