TRENTON, N.J. — There were no surprises in New Jersey’s legislative primary races Tuesday, but candidates now on both sides of the aisle are getting ready for big fights in November.
All seats are up for grabs in New Jersey’s legislature, now controlled by Democrats.
While political analysts say it may be a long-shot, Republicans believe they may have a chance to win enough seats to become the majority in the Assembly in November.
“I think people are sick and tired. the Democrats have promised, promised, promised, and they’ve not fulfilled any of the promises. They spend money ridiculously,” Republican Assemblywoman Kim Eulner, of Shrewsbury, said.
Incumbent Republican Assemblywomen Eulner and Marilyn Piperno, of Colts Neck, are confident they’ll be able to hold onto their seats in Monmouth County’s 11th Legislative District.
Education, they say, is their priority.
“Teachers are being fired. Bus routes are being cut. Programs are being eliminated,” Piperno said.
Former municipal judge Luanne Peterpaul — who also chaired Garden State Equality, a group fighting for LGBTQ+ rights — is running on the Democratic side along with her running mate, Dr. Margie Donlon. They have Sen. Vin Gopal on their team and believe their chances are good in what they call a purple district.
“We believe that we have a strong opportunity to take back these seats because of our belief in fighting for Monmouth County families and fairness,” Peterpaul said.
“I am running for Assembly for the exact same reason I went into medicine, which is to help people,” Donlon said. “Making sure that everyone has access to housing, education. Public safety is the number one issue, as well, and I think women’s rights is really important across the state.”
As for Tuesday’s primary races, former governor Richard Codey held onto his Senate seat, beating Sen. Nia Gill in the Democratic primary. Republican incumbent Sen. Joe Pennachio also beat Tom Mastrangelo.
Codey is sure to win because he won’t have a Republican challenger, but all others are gearing up for a competitive November election.
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