Joe Howarth (politician)

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Joe Howarth
Joe Howarth.png
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly from the 8th District
Assumed office
January 12, 2016
Serving with Ryan Peters
Preceded byChristopher J. Brown
Member of the Burlington County Board of Chosen Freeholders
In office
January 3, 2012 – December 31, 2014
Succeeded byBruce Garganio [1]
Personal details
Born (1955-08-27) August 27, 1955 (age 64)
Political partyRepublican
ResidenceEvesham Township
OccupationSpecial education paraprofessional
WebsiteLegislative Website

Joseph Howarth Jr. (born August 27, 1955) is an American Republican Party politician who has represented the 8th Legislative District in the New Jersey General Assembly since he was sworn into office on January 12, 2016. Howarth lost re-election in the 2019 GOP primary.

Early Life[edit]

A resident of Evesham Township, New Jersey, Howarth received a bachelor's degree from Trenton State College (now The College of New Jersey) with a major in health and physical education. He has worked for the Lenape Regional High School District as a special education paraprofessional.[2]

Burlington County Politics[edit]

Howarth served on the Board of Education of the Evesham Township School District from 2003 to 2007 and on the Evesham Township Council from 2009 to 2011. He was elected to the Burlington County Board of chosen freeholders and was sworn into office on January 3, 2012, as part of an all-Republican board.[3] Howarth chose not to run for re-election in 2014 after serving a single term as a freeholder in order to allow himself an opportunity to take care of personal health issues.[4]

New Jersey Assembly[edit]

Howarth was elected to the Assembly in November 2015 after Assemblyman Christopher J. Brown announced his retirement. In September 2017, after two-term incumbent Maria Rodriguez-Gregg decided against running for election after an incident earlier that year in which police thought that she was driving under the influence following a traffic accident, the Burlington County Republican Committee chose Burlington County Freeholder Ryan Peters to run for the Assembly seat as Howarth's running mate.[5] In the November 2017 general election, Howarth (with 28,841; 25.1% of all ballots cast) and Peters (with 28,671 votes; 25.0%), defeated Democratic challengers Joanne Schwartz (28,321; 24.7%) and Maryann Merlino (28,196; 24.6%) to win both Assembly seats from the district for the Republicans.[6] With Joanne Schwartz, the closest Democratic candidate 350 votes behind Peters, the Democratic Party had considered filing for a recount.[7] Of all 40 districts, the race in the 8th District was the closest in the state, with 650 votes separating the first and fourth vote-getters.[8] After the 8th District's Senator Dawn Addiego switch her party from Republican to Democrat, Howarth allegedly attempted to do the same. The Burlington County Republican Party dropped support for Howarth, choosing to instead support Burlington County Sheriff Jean Stanfield to run with incumbent Ryan Peters. [9]

In a primary election where he heavily tied himself to President Donald J. Trump[10] , Howarth was defeated by Peters and Stanfield. The following Monday, Howarth's nameplates where missing from the GOP caucus room. [11] Later that month, he proposed a bill that would take the pay away from legislators who are absent from a session. [12]


  • Law and Public Safety
  • Tourism, Gaming, and the Arts.

District 8[edit]

Each of the 40 districts in the New Jersey Legislature has one representative in the New Jersey Senate and two members in the New Jersey General Assembly. The other representatives from the 8th District for the 218th Legislature are:[13][14]

Electoral History[edit]


New Jersey general election, 2017[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Joe Howarth 28,841 25.1 Decrease 24.8
Republican Ryan Peters 28,671 25.0 Decrease 25.1
Democratic Joanne Schwartz 28,321 24.7 N/A
Democratic Maryann Merlino 28,196 24.6 N/A
No Status Quo Ryan T. Calhoun 753 0.7 N/A
Total votes 114,782 100.0
New Jersey general election, 2015[16]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Republican Maria Rodriguez-Gregg 18,317 50.1 Increase 20.9
Republican Joe Howarth 18,234 49.9 Increase 18.9
Total votes 36,551 100.0


  1. ^ "Board of Chosen Freeholders". Wayback Machine. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  2. ^ Assemblyman Joe Howarth, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 19, 2018.
  3. ^ Camilli, Danielle. "GOP once again has all seats on Freeholder Board", Burlington County Times, January 3, 2012. Accessed January 19, 2018. "With the swearing-in of two new members Monday, the Burlington County Freeholder Board has been returned to all Republicans with officials pledging to reduce county taxes for the fifth consecutive year in 2012.Freeholders Leah Arter of Moorestown and Joe Howarth of Evesham took the oath of office and began their three-year terms on the five-member board at the annual reorganization meeting held at noon Monday at the county administration building."
  4. ^ Levinsky, David. "Former Burlington County Freeholder Joe Howarth sworn into NJ Assembly", Burlington County Times, January 12, 2016. Accessed August 19, 2016. "Howarth, a Republican, comes to the Legislature after serving three years on the Burlington County Board of Freeholders. He chose not to run for re-election to the county board in 2014 because he was battling Crohn's disease, but opted to return to politics last year after Brown announced he would step aside."
  5. ^ Levinsky, David. "Burlington County Freeholder Ryan Peters picked to run for 8th District Assembly seat", Burlington County Times, September 6, 2017. Accessed January 19, 2018. "Burlington County Freeholder Ryan Peters likely didn’t expect to have to do much campaigning this fall, since his seat on the county board isn’t up for re-election until next year. That changed Wednesday after the Hainesport resident was picked by the Burlington County Republican Committee to replace Assemblywoman Maria Rodriguez-Gregg on the party’s 8th Legislative District ticket.... But she announced last week that she would not run for re-election, as she continues to fight charges of driving under the influence and obstruction, stemming from an April accident in which her vehicle was rear-ended on Route 73 at Fellowship Road in Mount Laurel."
  6. ^ Official List Candidates for General Assembly For General Election 11/07/2017 Election, New Jersey Department of State, dated November 29, 2017. Accessed January 16, 2018.
  7. ^ Levinsky, David. Republicans Howarth, Peters still lead in 8th District race after provisional ballot count", Burlington County Times, November 17, 2017. Accessed January 19, 2018. "The official vote count has the incumbent Howarth and Peters, who currently serves as a Burlington County Freeholder, winning the contest for the district Assembly seats with 28,841 and 28,671 votes respectively. Schwartz finished a close third with 28,321 votes — just 350 shy of Peters — followed by Merlino with 28,196. The votes have been counted and Republicans Joe Howarth and Ryan Peters have emerged as the winners of the razor-tight 8th District Assembly race. At least for now. Democrats Joanne Schwartz and Mary Ann Merlino have not ruled out asking for a recount."
  8. ^ Symons,Michael. "NJ’s governor’s race cost $79 million but had lowest turnout ever", WKXW, November 29, 2017. Accessed January 19, 2018. "Democrats won 54 of the 80 Assembly seats. The closest race was in the 8th District, where Republicans Joe Howarth and Ryan Peters defeated Democrats Joanne Schwartz and Maryann Merlino – and all four finished with between 28,196 and 28,841 votes."
  9. ^ "Peters, Stanfield win Burlington County line". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved 29 March 2019.
  10. ^ "'MAGA Republican' Howarth loses in South Jersey Assembly primary line". Politico. Retrieved 24 June 2019.
  11. ^ "Howarth name plates gone from minority caucus room". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
  12. ^ "Howarth bill would see absentee legislators lose pay". New Jersey Globe. Retrieved June 22, 2019.
  13. ^ Legislative Roster 2018-2019 Session, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 18, 2018.
  14. ^ District 8 Legislators, New Jersey Legislature. Accessed January 18, 2018.
  15. ^ "2017-official-general-election-results-general-assembly.pdf" (PDF). New Jersey Secretary of State. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
  16. ^ "2015-official-ge-results-nj-general-assembly.pdf" (PDF). New Jersey Secretary of State. Retrieved 31 March 2019.

External links[edit]

New Jersey General Assembly
Preceded by
Christopher J. Brown
Member of the New Jersey General Assembly for the 8th District
January 12, 2016 – present
With: Maria Rodriguez-Gregg, Ryan Peters
Succeeded by