New Jersey is poised to play a key role in which party controls the U.S. House of Representatives next year, but Democrats could find themselves playing defense in the New Jersey’s U.S. Senate race.
Following yesterday’s primary election, three Republican districts are in play in the general election, two of which are races for open seats. Nationally, Republicans have a 235- to 193seat majority (seven seats are vacant). Democrats would have to pick-up 24 seats to win the majority.
In South Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District, Democratic State Senator Jeff Van Drew will face off against attorney and political activist Seth Grossman to succeed long-time Republican Congressman Frank LoBiondo, who is retiring.
While Van Drew was expected to win his primary election, Grossman’s victory in the Republican Primary is seen as an upset of Linwood businessman Hirsch Singh, according to the Press of Atlantic City.
Van Drew has represented the 1st Legislative District (Cape May, Cumberland and Atlantic) in the Senate since 2008. Grossman is the founder of LibertyAndProsperity.com and an attorney in Atlantic County, as well as a radio talk show host.
In the 7th Congressional District, incumbent Republican Leonard Lance will face Democrat Tom Malinowski, an assistant Secretary of State during the Obama administration.
Lance is considered vulnerable largely because voters in his congressional district chose Hilary Clinton over Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election.
In the 11th Congressional District, former Navy helicopter pilot Mikie Sherrill won the Democratic primary and conservative Assemblyman Jay Weber took the Republican Primary. The two will compete for the seat currently held by retiring Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen.
The political website Real Clear Politics rates both the 7th and 11th congressional district races as toss-ups and the 2nd district as leaning Democrat.
Perhaps the biggest surprise was in the Democratic Senate primary, where U.S. Senator Bob Menendez received only 62 percent of the vote. His opponent, Lisa McCormick, garnered 38 percent of the vote despite have virtually no name identification.
The results suggest Menendez’s reputation has taken a hit over a federal bribery and corruption trial. A mistrial was declared after the jury could not reach a verdict, and the U.S. Justice Department eventually dropped the case.
Menendez will face business executive Bob Hugin in the November general election.