23rd Legislative District (New Jersey)

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New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District
Census Bureau map of New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District.png
Senators Michael J. Doherty (R)
Assembly members John DiMaio (R)
Erik Peterson (R)
Population 222,972
Voting-age population 175,967
Registered voters 140,869

New Jersey's 23rd Legislative District is one of 40 in the New Jersey Legislature. As of the 2011 apportionment, the district includes the Hunterdon County municipalities of Alexandria Township, Bethlehem Township, Bloomsbury Borough, Clinton Town, Clinton Township, Franklin Township, Frenchtown Borough, Glen Gardner Borough, Hampton Borough, High Bridge Borough, Holland Township, Kingwood Township, Lebanon Borough, Lebanon Township, Milford Borough, Tewksbury Township and Union Township, the Somerset County municipalities of Bedminster Township, Bridgewater Township, Peapack-Gladstone, Raritan Borough and South Bound Brook, and the Warren County municipalities of Alpha Borough, Franklin Township, Greenwich Township, Hackettstown Town, Harmony Township, Lopatcong Township, Mansfield Township, Phillipsburg Town, Pohatcong Township, Washington Borough and Washington Township.[1][2]

Demographic characteristics[edit]

As of the 2010 United States Census, the district had a population of 222,972, of whom 175,967 (76.5%) were of voting age. The racial makeup of the district was 208,724 (90.8%) White, 7,216 (3.1%) African American, 319 (0.1%) Native American, 6,670 (2.9%) Asian, 67 (0.0%) Pacific Islander, 3,484 (1.5%) from some other race, and 3,492 (1.5%) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 14,158 (6.2%) of the population.[3] The 23rd District had 140,869 registered voters as of November 2013, of whom 63,010 (44.7%) were registered as Unaffiliated, 30,022 (21.3%) were registered as Democrats, 47,677 (33.8%) were registered as Republicans and 160 (0.1%) were registered to other parties.[4]

As of 2000, the district had the largest population of any in the state and the second-highest land area, making it one of the least densely populated districts in the state. The district had a small minority population, with comparatively few African American, Asian and Hispanic residents. The district had the highest municipal tax rate in the state, but lower than average school and county taxes leave the overall rate near the statewide median. Registered Republicans outnumber Democrats by a 2-1 margin.[5][6]

Apportionment history[edit]

Changes made as part of the New Jersey Legislative apportionment in 2011 added Bedminster Township (from District 16), Bound Brook (from District 16), Bridgewater (from District 16), Califon (from District 24), Peapack-Gladstone (from District 16), Raritan Borough (from District 16), South Bound Brook (from District 16) and Tewksbury Township (from District 24), while removed from the district as of 2011 were Allamuchy Township (to District 24), Belvidere Town (to District 24), Blairstown Township (to District 24), Delaware Township (to District 16), East Amwell Township (to District 15), Flemington Borough (to District 16), Frelinghuysen Township (to District 24), Hardwick Township (to District 24), Hope Township (to District 24), Independence Township (to District 24), Knowlton Township (to District 24), Lambertville City (to District 15), Liberty Township (to District 24), Oxford Township (to District 24), Raritan Township (to District 16), Readington Township (to District 16), Stockton Borough (to District 16), West Amwell Township (to District 15) and White Township (to District 24).[7]

Changes to the district made as part of the 2001 apportionment, based on the results of the 2000 United States Census, added Glen Gardner, Hampton, High Bridge and Lebanon Township (from District 24), and removed Hopewell Township (to the District 3), and both Hopewell Borough and Pennington Borough (to District 15).[8]

Political representation[edit]

For the 2014-2015 Session, the district is represented in the State Senate by Michael J. Doherty (R, Washington Township, Warren County) and in the General Assembly by John DiMaio (R, Hackettstown) and Erik Peterson (R, Franklin Township, Hunterdon County).[9][10]

Election history[edit]

Governor of New Jersey Brendan Byrne nominated State Senator Stephen B. Wiley to the New Jersey Supreme Court in 1977. His nomination was approved by the Senate, but was rejected by the Supreme Court, which ruled that as Wiley had voted to raise the salary of justices of the Supreme Court in 1974, he could not be appointed to serve on the court until after his term of office expired.[11]

Following the death of Walter E. Foran, Dick Zimmer filled the vacant seat in the Senate and William E. Schluter won Zimmer's Assembly seat, and then continued on to the State Senate after Zimmer succeeded Jim Courter in the United States House of Representatives in 1991.[12] Schluter's Assembly seat was filled by Leonard Lance.

On January 24, 2009, a special election was held by a convention of Republican committee members from Hunterdon and Warren counties to fill the Senate vacancy created when Leonard Lance was elected to Congress. Marcia A. Karrow defeated Michael J. Doherty in the special election by a margin of 195 votes to 143. Doherty announced he would run against Karrow a second time in the June 2009 primary, when she would be running as the incumbent.[13]

The Hunterdon and Warren County Republican committee members held another special convention on February 21, 2009 to fill Karrow's vacant Assembly seat. In the contest, Warren County Freeholder John DiMaio defeated Hunterdon County Freeholders Matt Holt and Erik Peterson.[14][15]

On June 2, 2009, Doherty defeated Karrow in the Republican Senate primary by a margin of 52%-48%, making her the only incumbent to lose a primary battle that year.[16] Doherty went on to win the November special election, defeating Democratic candidate Harvey Baron to fill the remaining two years of the term.[17] Karrow's Senate term ended on November 23, 2009 when Doherty was sworn into office.[18]

Session State Senate[19] Assembly[20]
1976-1977 Stephen B. Wiley James J. Barry, Jr. John H. Dorsey
1978-1979 John H. Dorsey James J. Barry, Jr. Rosemarie Totaro
1980-1981 Arthur R. Albohn James J. Barry, Jr.
1982-1983 Walter E. Foran Karl Weidel Dick Zimmer
1984-1985 Walter E. Foran Karl Weidel Dick Zimmer
1986-1987 Karl Weidel Dick Zimmer
1988-1989 Dick Zimmer C. Richard Kamin William E. Schluter
1990-1991[21] C. Richard Kamin William E. Schluter
1992-1993 William E. Schluter Chuck Haytaian Leonard Lance
1994-1995[22] William E. Schluter Chuck Haytaian Leonard Lance
1996-1997 Leonard Lance Connie Myers
1998-1999[23] William E. Schluter Leonard Lance Connie Myers
2000-2001[24] Leonard Lance Connie Myers
2002-2003[25] Leonard Lance Michael J. Doherty Connie Myers
2004-2005[26] Leonard Lance Michael J. Doherty Connie Myers
2006-2007 Michael J. Doherty Marcia A. Karrow
2008-2009 Leonard Lance Michael J. Doherty Marcia A. Karrow
2010-2011[27] Michael J. Doherty John DiMaio Erik Peterson
2012-2013 Michael J. Doherty John DiMaio Erik Peterson
2014-2015[28] Michael J. Doherty John DiMaio Erik Peterson


  1. ^ Districts by Number, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 10, 2014.
  2. ^ Municipalities (sorted by 2011 legislative district), New Jersey Department of State. Accessed February 10, 2014.
  3. ^ DP-1: Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 - 2010 Demographic Profile Data for General Assembly District 23 (2010), New Jersey, United States Census Bureau. Accessed February 10, 2014.
  4. ^ Statewide Voter Registration Summary, New Jersey Department of State, November 28, 2013. Accessed February 10, 2014.
  5. ^ District 23 Profile, Rutgers University. Accessed July 26, 2010.
  6. ^ 2005 New Jersey Legislative District Data Book. Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy. p. 97. 
  7. ^ Districts by Number, New Jersey Legislature, backed up by the Internet Archive as of June 6, 2011.
  8. ^ Legislative Districts, New Jersey Legislature, backed up by the Internet Archive as of December 6, 1998. Accessed July 25, 2010.
  9. ^ Legislative Roster 2014-2015 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 10, 2014.
  10. ^ District 23 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed February 10, 2014.
  11. ^ Waldron, Martin. "SUPREME COURT BARS WILEY APPOINTMENT; Cites His Membership in Legislature When It Raised Justices' Salaries Byrne to Nominate an Aide", The New York Times, February 12, 1977. Accessed July 29, 2010.
  12. ^ "The Harvey Smith Club", PolitickerNJ.com, June 6, 2007. Accessed July 29, 2010.
  13. ^ "Karrow wins; calls for unity as Doherty vows to fight on in the primary". PolitickerNJ. 2009-01-24. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  14. ^ Novak, Stephen J. (2009-02-01). "GOP convention picks to fill district Senate and Assembly seats could lead to contentious primary season". The Express-Times. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  15. ^ Olanoff, Lynn (2009-02-22). "John DiMaio named to fill Assembly seat". The Express-Times. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  16. ^ "Karrow loses in Hunterdon and Warren". PolitickerNJ. 2009-06-02. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  17. ^ Wichert, Bill (2009-11-04). "Republican Michael Doherty wins New Jersey Senate post; GOP running mates John DiMaio and Erik Peterson capture state Assembly seats". The Express-Times. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  18. ^ Wichert, Bill (2009-11-23). "Michael Doherty sworn in as new state senator representing Warren, Hunterdon counties". The Express-Times. Archived from the original on 11 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-27. 
  19. ^ NJ Senate District 23 - History, OurCampaigns.com. Accessed July 29, 2010.
  20. ^ NJ Assembly 23 - History, OurCampaigns.com. Accessed July 29, 2010.
  21. ^ Staff. "Vote Totals for the Elections Held on Tuesday in New York and New Jersey", The New York Times, November 9, 1989. Accessed June 23, 2010.
  22. ^ 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 June 23, 2010.
  23. ^ Staff. "THE 1997 ELECTIONS: RESULTS; The Races for the New Jersey Assembly", The New York Times, November 5, 1997. Accessed July 12, 2010.
  24. ^ 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 July 12, 2010.
  25. ^ Staff. "THE 2001 ELECTIONS; RESULTS -- The Races for New Jersey", The New York Times, November 8, 2001. Accessed July 12, 2010.
  26. ^ Kocieniewski, David. "THE 2003 ELECTION: THE STATEHOUSE; Democrats Seize Senate And Widen Assembly Gap", The New York Times, November 5, 2003. Accessed June 23, 2010.
  27. ^ Staff. "2009 Election Results", The New York Times, November 9, 2009. Accessed July 12, 2010.
  28. ^ Official List; Candidates for General Assembly For GENERAL ELECTION 11/05/2013 Election, New Jersey Department of State, December 4, 2013. Accessed February 10, 2014.