NJ Primary Day: Early Winners Named In At Least 5 Key Races

WCBS 880 Newsroom
July 09, 2020 - 3:35 pm

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    TRENTON (WCBS 880) — Voters headed to the polls on Tuesday in New Jersey, and while it may be weeks until all the mail-in ballots are counted, some races were already called Wednesday morning. 

    Polling sites called at 8 p.m. and though some residents trekked out to a significantly smaller number of polling sites, many choose to mail in their votes amid the pandemic. 

    Though candidates were worried about voter turnout, it appeared there was enough ballots cast by Wednesday morning to call the race for Democratic presidential nominee and the closely watched race for New Jersey’s second congressional district. 

    Congressman Jeff Van Drew won the seat in New Jersey's second district in 2019 as a member of the Democratic Party but switched platforms during the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

    Former schoolteacher Amy Kennedy, daughter-in-law of the late Ted Kennedy, defeated several challengers in that primary, including political science professor Brigid Callahan Harrison, who conceded an hour after the polls closed.

    “South Jersey stands united that Jeff Van Drew must go and as democrats we must stand committed to putting the recent past behind us and unite together to beat him in November,” she said during her concession speech.

    Rising GOP star David Richter had also planned to challenge Van Drew, but switched districts and will run against freshman Congressman Andy Kim, who narrowly won an election in 2018 after a drawn out campaign against a key Trump ally.

    Both Joe Biden and Cory Booker easily won their primary races in the state and now Booker will face off against Republican Hirsh Singh in November.

    Tom Kean Jr. was the republican winner in the seventh district in Central Jersey, as well. He'll face freshman Democratic Incumbent Tom Malinowski in the general election.

    Around 6 million voters in New Jersey were either sent a postage-paid mail-in ballot or were sent an application that would allow them to request one.

    People who were voting by mail need to make sure their ballots are postmarked by Tuesday. There were also at least five drop boxes in every county where voters could drop off their ballots.

    On Thursday, the Associated Press declared Democratic Reps. Josh Gottheimer and Bill Pascrell winners in their primary contests.

    Their victories mean that no incumbent facing a primary lost.

    Gottheimer defeated Arati Kreibich, a scientist and Glen Rock council member who had the backing of Bernie Sanders.

    Pascrell defeated Zinovia Spezakis, who ran on Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders' Not Me, Us, platform, as well as Alp Basaran, of Fort Lee.

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