It’s over, except for the vote.
With the spotlight in Tuesday’s election on the race between Democratic Gov. Phil Murphy and Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli, all 120 seats in the New Jersey Legislature are up for grabs, along with crucial local contests in many. many municipalities in central Jersey.
Polling stations will be open from 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday. Sunday is the last day for advance voting.
The most prominent mayoral races take place in Edison, the most populous municipality in central Jersey, in Monroe, Westfield and Lambertville.
In Edison, with two-term holder Thomas Lankey not seeking re-election, Democrat Sam Joshi and Republican Keith Hahn vying for mayor. Christo Makropolous presents himself as independent.
In Monroe, an unexpired two-year term for mayor is up for grabs following the death of outgoing President Gerald Tamburro on New Years Eve last year. Stephen Dalina, the Democrat appointed to fill the vacancy, is challenged by Republican Steve Martin.
In Westfield, Democratic Mayor Shelley Brindle is challenged by Republican JoAnn Neylan in the candidacy for a second four-year term.
In Lambertville, the outgoing mayor Julia Fahl having decided not to run for a second term, Democrat Andrew Nowick and independent Michael Menche campaign to be the city’s next mayor. No Republican is in the race.
Republicans hope to break Democrats’ unanimous hold on county commissions in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties, while Republicans seek to maintain their 5-0 grip on the Hunterdon County commission.
In Middlesex County, outgoing Democrats Ronald Rios and Shanti Narra are being challenged by Republicans Patricia Badovinac and Gerald Shine for three-year terms on the county commission.
After Kenneth Armwood’s sudden passing this spring, Democrat Chanelle Scott McCullum, who has been nominated for the seat, and Republican Joellen Arrabito are running for an unexpired one-year term.
Also in Middlesex County, there is a race for the five-year term of County Alternate between Democrat Claribel Cortes and Republican Chhavi Dharayan. Earlier this year, Cortes filled the vacant position created by the retirement of longtime substitute Kevin J. Hoagland.
In Somerset County, outgoing Democrats Shanel Robinson and Sara Sooy, who broke the Republican grip on the governing body three years ago, are running for re-election. They are contested by Republicans Michael Kirsh and Amber Murad.
In Union County, Democrats Alexander Mirabella and Kimberly Mouded, both incumbents, and James Baker Jr. are running against Republicans Mary O’Connor, Carmen Bucco and Peter Lijoi.
In Hunterdon CountyRepublican incumbents Matt Holt and Susan Soloway face the challenge of Democrats Patrick Heller and Mark Pomykacz.
New Jersey’s two most notable senatorial races are in Districts 16 and 21.
In Ward 16, with the retirement of veteran Republican Kip Bateman, Democratic MP Andrew Zwicker hopes to win a seat against former Republican MP Michael Pappas.
In Ward 21, with veteran Republican Tom Kean Jr. deciding not to stand for re-election in order to continue the House of Representatives election in 2022 against incumbent President Tom Malinowski, Republican MP Jon Bramnick is hoping to advance to the seat in a race with the Democrat Joseph Signorello.
Because this is a year where no federal election is on the ballot, the results depend on which party is most successful in getting its supporters to the polls.
Republicans in Somerset County and District 16 are hopeful that Ciattarelli, a Hillsborough resident and former member of the assembly, will generate a huge Republican participation to reverse the Democratic tide in the county and district which, until recent years, has been the heart of moderate Republicans in the state.
Registered Democrats hold an advantage in Middlesex, Somerset and Union counties and they competed in last year’s presidential election, but the question to be answered on Tuesday is whether they will run in the same number This year.
Tuesday there are also races for local school boards.
According to the New Jersey School Boards Association, interest in serving on school boards has increased this year with 2,174 applicants statewide competing for 1,594 school board positions. In 2020, 1,915 candidates were vying for 1,519 positions.
Generating interest in school board races are issues related to mask mandates, distance learning, and curriculum controversies.
There will also be two constitutional questions on statewide voting.
It is asked if voters will approve bets on college sports at casinos or old racetracks.
The other question asks if nonprofits should be allowed to use the money raised in raffles and bingo to support their operations. Currently, groups are only permitted to use proceeds from educational, charitable, patriotic, religious, or public benefit purposes. Only groups of ex-combatants and the elderly are now allowed to use the proceeds to support their groups.
Mike Deak is a reporter for mycentraljersey.com. For unrestricted access to his articles on Somerset and Hunterdon counties, please register or activate your digital account today.