Tuesday is Election Day in New Jersey, and although it is considered an “off-year” election, with no president, governor or congressional race atop the ballot, all 120 seats in the State Legislature are up for re-election, including a hotly contested Assembly race in the 30th Legislative District.
The 30th Legislative District, which comprises Lakewood and six Monmouth County municipalities, including Howell, Wall, Farmingdale, Lake Como Boro, Belmar Boro, and Avon-by-the-Sea, is currently represented by Senator Bob Singer and Assemblymen Sean Kean and Ned Thomson.
In a race that has garnered statewide attention, Rabbi Avi Schnall, the Director of Agudath Israel’s New Jersey office, is seeking to flip the Assembly seat currently held by Thomson.
The race has drawn intense interest and has so far seen record turnout.
Locally, other than the Toms River mayoral primary and an open Township committee seat in Lakewood, there are very few competitive races on the ballot across Ocean County.
Below is a brief overview of what voters will see on the ballot when voting on Tuesday:
In Lakewood, in addition to the contested Assembly seat, there are several open seats on the county and municipal level.
On the county level, three candidates, Republican Frank Sadaghi and Democrat Roxanne Barnes, are running for the seat being vacated by longtime commissioner Joe Vicari, who is retiring after 43 years of service.
And on the local level, voters will elect two members to the Township Committee: One for the seat being vacated by Mike D’Elia and Mayor Ray Coles will be running for re-election as well.
On the Republican side, the candidates are Bruce Stern and Deborah Fuentes while Jimmy Esposito is the Democrat running with Mayor Coles.
In Toms River, which is in the 10th Legislative District, appearing on top of the ballot is incumbent state Senator James Holzapfel.
Running for the Assembly seats in the solidly Republican district is incumbent Assemblyman Gregory McGuckin, joined by Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra, who is seeking the seat currently held by Assemblyman John Catalano.
Catalano announced earlier this year that he is leaving the Assembly to run mayor in Brick Township, which is now open after former mayor John Ducey resigned to become a judge.
On the municipal level, councilman Daniel Rodrick, who defeated incumbent Mayor Mo Hill in the June primary, is facing Ben Giovine, a senior aide to Rep. Andy Kim and former president of the Toms River Regional Board of Education.
Rodrick, who is seeking a four-year term, is running alongside Thomas Nivinson, Lynn O’Toole, and Craig Coleman, all of whom who are seeking election to the three at-large council seats.
Giovine’s slate of council candidates includes Michele Williams, Rhetta Jackson-Fair and Kajal Lal.
Topping the ballot in Jackson, which is situated in the 12th Legislative District, is a new face, as Old Bridge Mayor Owen Henry is seeking to replace longtime Senator Sam Thompson, who earlier this year, in a shocking move, switched parties and became a Democrat, before later announcing that he will not seek re-election at all.
Henry will be running alongside incumbent Assemblymen Rob Clifton and former Jackson Councilman Alex Sauickie, who is now seeking his first full term in office after being chosen to replace the late Ronald Dancer.
There are no local races this year in Jackson.
Although all 40 seats in the Senate and 80 seats in the Assembly are up for re-election, most are unopposed, leading to a mostly quiet election season.
However, there are some races garnering some attention.
In the state’s 3rd Legislative District, where Republican Ed Durr ousted powerful Democrat Steve Sweeney two years ago in a shocking upset, he now faces a strong challenge from former Assemblyman John Burzichelli, who is now looking to make a political comeback.
In the 11th, incumbent Vin Gopal, who is the only Democrat incumbent to represent parts of the Jersey Shore, is trying to fend off a strong challenge from his Republican opponent, Steve Dnistrian, a communications expert and consultant.
And in the 4th Legislative District, Republicans are hoping that the retirement of longtime Democrat Senator Fred Madden who’s represented the district for nearly 20 years, will give them the opportunity to snatch another South Jersey seat.
What else to know:
Democrats currently have a 46-34 majority in the General Assembly and a 25-15 majority in the Senate.
New Jersey Assembly members serve two-year terms, with all seats up for election every two years. New Jersey Senators serve four-year terms, except in the first term of a new decade (like the current one), which only lasts for two years.
Polls across the state open at 6 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. for in-person voting.
Anyone with a mail-in ballot must get it postmarked Tuesday, November 7, or put it in one of the designated drop boxes before polls close.