This is mark Joseph “young” blog entry #270, on the subject of New Jersey’s 2018 Election Ballot.
The election is less than a month away, so it’s time to look at what we will see on the ballot.
Although it will appear at the bottom of the ballot, one of the two things that will be on the ballot in every district in New Jersey is a ballot question: Public Question #1, School Projects Bond (2018). The legislature wants to borrow half a billion (with a “B”) dollars to spend on education-related projects. They actually wanted to borrow a full billion, and they passed that, but Governor Murphy wisely said we should consider how badly that would put the state in debt (after all, when you borrow money by selling bonds, you commit yourself to paying it back with interest from future tax revenues). Since 2007 the state has authorized $1.475 billion in bond sales, the largest chunk of that $750 million in 2012 for state colleges. No one appears to be opposing this, which is probably sensible since New Jersey voters consistently pass such bills. Of the half billion, $350 million is slated for schools as career and technical grants and school security projects, another $50 million for college career and technical education grants, and $100 million for something labeled “school water infrastructure grants”. The governor is right that we should consider just how much debt we can afford to commit to the future, but the Democratically-controlled government is probably not going to think about that any time soon.
The other vote that will be state-wide is the re-election bid of our Democratic senior Senator Bob Menendez. He was last elected in 2012; we commented on his indictment previously. Pundits consider his seat one which the Republicans might take, in the person of Bob Hugin, a former biopharmaceutical executive. Also in the race are four “third party” candidates, all unfamiliar independents, Tricia Flanagan of New Day NJ, Kevin Kimple of Make it Simple, Natalie Lynn Rivera of For the People, and Hank Schroeder of Economic Growth.
Two years ago incumbents won in eleven out of twelve New Jersey Congressional districts. You can find them listed and linked in web log post #123: The 2016 Election in New Jersey. The one exception, also named and linked there, is the Democratic Congressman in our Fifth District, Josh Gottheimer. To save space here, we will will skip the details about the districts and just give the candidates, by district:
- Democrat Donald Norcross faces Republican Paul Dilks, Libertarian Robert Shapiro, We Deserve Better Paul Hamlin, and Your Voice Hard Mohammad Kabir. The district is in question because part of it which voted for Obama in previous elections voted for Trump in 2016.
- Republican Frank Lobiondo is retiring. Republican Seth Grossman is running in his place, against Democrat Jeff Van Drew, Libertarian John Ordille, Cannot Be Bought Anthony Parisi Sanchez, Together We Can William Benfer, and Time for Truth Steven Fenichel. This district is also being watched due to a shift to supporting Trump in 2016.
- Republican Tom MacArthur is defending against Democrat Andrew Kim and Constitution Party candidate Lawrence Berlinski, Jr..
- Long-time Republican Representative Chris Smith faces Democrat Josh Welle, Libertarian Michael Rufo, Check this Column Brian Reynolds, Ed the Barber Edward Stackhouse, Jr., The Inclusion Candidate Felicia Stoler, and Time for Change Allen Yusufov.
- Newcomer Democrat Josh Gottheimer faces Republican John McCann, Libertarian James Tosone, and Trade, Health, Environment Wendy Goetz.
- Democrat Frank Pallone is facing Republican Rich Pezzullo.
- Republican Leonard Lance is challenged by Democrat Tom Malinowski, Green party Diane Moxley, and Freedom, Responsibility, Action candidate Gregg Mele.
- Democratic incumbent Albio Sires faces Republican John Muniz, Libertarian Dan Delaney, and New Way Forward Mahmoud Mahmoud.
- Democrat Bill Pascrell is defending against Republican Eric Fisher and Libertarian Claudio Belusic.
- Democrat Donald Payne, Jr., faces Republican Agha Khan, Libertarian Scott DiRoma, C4C 2018 candidate Cynthia Johnson, and Never Give Up Joan Miller.
- Republican Rodney Frelinghuysen chose not to run for another term, and is replaced on the ballot by Republican Jay Webber, running against Democrat Mikie Sherrill, Libertarian Ryan Martinez, and Honesty, Integrity, Compassion candidate Robert Crook.
- Finally, Democrat Bonnie Watson Coleman is running against Republican Daryl Kipnis.
Once again, my advice is first to become informed, and then once you are informed to vote.