A total of 181 candidates—98 Democrats and 83 Republicans—filed this week with New Jersey Department of State to run for seats in the New Jersey General Assembly.
All 80 seats in the chamber are up for election in November and 76 of the chamber’s 80 incumbents filed for re-election, leaving four open-seat races.
The New Jersey General Assembly has 40 multi-member districts, with two representatives from each district.
In Democratic and Republican primaries, the top two candidates from each party advance to the general election in November. In the general election, the top two vote recipients in each district are the winners.
Currently, the representatives in all 40 Assembly districts are both from the same party.
Lakewood Township, which is in the 30th Legislative District, is represented by Assemblymen Sean Kean and Ned Thomson, who are both Republicans.
Toms River Township, which is in the 10th Legislative District, is represented by Assemblymen Gregory McGuckin and David Wolfe, who are both Republicans.
Wolfe, who at 76 is the most senior member of the New Jersey General Assembly, is one of the four Assemblymen not running for re-election.
He was first elected in 1991.
Running to replace Wolfe is John Catalano, the president of the Brick Republican Club and former councilman.
The 10th district seat is heavily Republican and Democrats have not won there since 1989.
Jackson Township, which is in the 12th Legislative District, is represented by Assemblymen Robert Clifton and Ronald Dancer, who are also both Republicans.
In order to be a candidate to run for the New Jersey General Assembly, a candidate must:
- Be a citizen of the United States
- Reside for no less than two years in the district the candidate plans to represent.
- Be 21 years of age or older.
- Obtain 100 signatures via petition and submit the signatures to the New Jersey Secretary of State.
- Disclose any criminal convictions.
New Jersey state legislators are paid $49,000 annually.
The current partisan composition of the New Jersey General Assembly is 54 Democrats and 26 Republicans.
New Jersey is one of 14 Democratic trifectas – states in which both Legislative chambers and the Governor are from the same party.
Primary elections will take place on June 4.