New Jersey elections, 2009

The following offices were up for election in the United States State of New Jersey in the general election on November 3, 2009:

Persons 18 years or older on the general election date (born on or before November 3, 1991) were eligible to register and vote in the general election.


Democratic Governor Jon Corzine was running for a second term and was being challenged by Republican Chris Christie, Independent Christopher Daggett, and nine others (not including write-in candidates). Christie won the election[1][2] with about 49 percent of the vote, to 45 percent for Corzine and 6 percent for Daggett.[3] Christie is expected to assume office on January 20, 2010.

This was the first election to fill the newly created office of lieutenant governor.[4] The candidates for governor and lieutenant governor were joined together as a single choice, so that voters did not have the opportunity to split the ticket. Kim Guadagno, Christie's running mate, will be New Jersey's first lieutenant governor.

General Election Candidates

Major candidates

The following three candidates all qualified to appear, and did appear, in the debates.

Other candidates

Nine other candidates qualified to appear on the ballot as independents or third-party nominees but did not raise enough money to qualify for the debates. These include Libertarian Kenneth Kaplan, the Socialist Party USA's Greg Pason, and the following independents: Jason Cullen, Joshua Leinsdorf, Alvin Lindsay, David R. Meiswinkle, Kostas Petris, Gary T. Steele and Gary Stein. At least five others, including popular New Jersey comedian Uncle Floyd, announced that they would run write-in campaigns.

Primary Election Candidates

The following candidates were defeated by Jon Corzine in the Democratic primary:

The following candidates were defeated by Chris Christie in the Republican primary:

The following Republican Primary candidates were removed from the ballot:

Republican primary

Former U.S. Attorney Christopher J. Christie had long been considered the front-runner for the Republican nomination. He was heavily favored by the party establishment and had won the endorsement and county line of all county GOP organizations.[16] Christie's chief opponent in the primary was former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan, known for his very right-wing positions and vocal opposition to the Corzine administration; another staunch conservative, General Assemblyman Rick Merkt was also on the ballot. David Brown, Christian Keller, and Franklin Township mayor Brian D. Levine also filed to run in the Republican primary, but their petitions were challenged by Lonegan and they were disqualified from the ballot when administrative judges ruled that their nominating petitions failed to meet the threshold of 1,000 valid signatures.[17] Upon leaving the race, Brown and Levine endorsed Christie.[18][19]

Christie and Lonegan attacked each other relentlessly throughout the primary campaign through mailers and robocalls, with each seeking to undermine the other by drawing the public's attention to scandals involving the other. Lonegan proposed ending the state's progressive income tax system and replacing it with a 2.9% flat tax for all New Jerseyans. Christie strongly opposed this proposal, arguing that Lonegan's proposal would amount to a tax increase for most New Jerseyans. Christie instead proposed cutting taxes "across the board," although he refused to say by how much.[20] There were two televised debates, which excluded Merkt, and two radio debates, which included him. Ultimately, Christie was able to win the primary with 55% of the vote to Lonegan's 42% and Merkt's 3%.

Democratic primary

Although polls indicated his vulnerability in the general election, Governor Jon S. Corzine was heavily favored to win the Democratic primary over his three little-known challengers. The only one of those to have held elected office, former Glen Ridge mayor Carl Bergmanson, was running on a platform of fiscal discipline, social liberalism, and government reform; he had received the support of the Citizens Against Tolls website. In the primary, Corzine won renomination with 77% of the vote, while Bergmanson, his closest competitor, received about 9%.

General election

Since the primaries, polls have consistently showed Christie leading Corzine, sometimes by double-digits. The election became a three-way race on July 7, when independent candidate Christopher Daggett announced that he had raised enough money to qualify for public funds and to qualify for participation in the debates.[21] On July 20, Christie selected Kim Guadagno as his running mate.[22] On July 24, Corzine announced in an e-mail to his supporters that he had selected Loretta Weinberg as his running mate.[23] On July 27, Daggett announced that he had selected longtime Kean University professor and administrator Frank J. Esposito as his running mate.[24] Although the economy and taxes have long been prominent issues in the campaign, the issue of ethics and anti-corruption efforts was thrust into the spotlight in July when several public officials were arrested on corruption charges in Operation Bid Rig. One of Corzine's main lines of attack has involved Christie's ties to the unpopular former President of the United States George W. Bush, who appointed Christie to the U.S. Attorney's office in 2001. In August 2009, Bush political strategist Karl Rove revealed that he had held conversations with Christie about a potential gubernatorial run during Christie's time as U.S. Attorney. U.S. Attorneys are prohibited from engaging in partisan political activities by the Hatch Act of 1939.[25] Corzine quickly incorporated this into his advertisements targeting Christie.[26]

Lieutenant governor

On November 8, 2005, voters passed an Constitutional amendment to the New Jersey State Constitution which created the office of Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey, the first of whom is to be elected in the 2009 general election and to take office in January 2010. Until the creation of the office, governors who died in office or stepped down were succeeded by the President of the New Jersey Senate. This has happened twice in recent years, with the resignations of Christine Todd Whitman in 2001 and James McGreevey in 2004. Concerns over separation of powers (Acting Governors continued to serve concurrently in the Senate) and the fact that Acting Governors were not elected by the people to succeed the Governor led to the Constitutional amendment that created the new office. All 12 candidates for governor appearing on the ballot selected their running mates by the June 27, 2009 deadline.[27]

Chris Christie, the Republican nominee for governor, selected Monmouth Beach's Kim Guadagno, the sheriff of Monmouth County, as his running mate. Others mentioned for the post had included New Jersey Senators Diane Allen and Jennifer Beck, as well as Bergen County Clerk Kathleen Donovan.

Incumbent Governor Jon Corzine, the Democratic nominee, selected Teaneck's Loretta Weinberg, a New Jersey Senator and former New Jersey General Assemblywoman, as his running mate. Other mentioned for the post had included New Jersey Senator Barbara Buono, New Jersey General Assemblywoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, and wealthy businessman Randal Pinkett.

Chris Daggett, an independent candidate who has qualified for matching funds, selected Ocean Township's Frank J. Esposito, a longtime professor and administrator at Kean University who served as an advisor to the Commissioner of Education in the Thomas Kean, Sr. administration, as his running mate. Others mentioned for the post had included Edison Mayor Jun Choi, Atlantic County freeholder Alisa Cooper, and Passaic County freeholder James Gallagher.


Special elections

State Senator – 6th Legislative District – Unofficial Results[28]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic James Beach * √ 33,916 57.9
Republican Joseph Adolf 24,614 42.1
Total votes 58,530 100
State Senator – 23rd Legislative District – Unofficial Results[28]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Michael J. Doherty √ 51,599 71.4
Democratic Harvey Baron 20,694 28.6
Total votes 72,293 100

Regularly scheduled elections

All 80 seats in the lower house of the legislature, the General Assembly, are up for election. Voters in each of New Jersey's 40 legislative districts will elect two General Assemblymen. Two sitting General Assemblymen, Democrat L. Harvey Smith of the 31st Legislative District and Republican Daniel Van Pelt of the 9th Legislative District, were arrested on corruption charges on July 23, 2009. Van Pelt, who was arrested for accepting a $10,000 bribe, resigned from the Assembly and withdrew from his re-election bid on July 31. Smith is under pressure from the Democratic Party to resign, but he has not done so; he is not seeking re-election. It is unclear whether the scandal resulting from the arrests in Operation Bid Rig will affect the legislative elections in 2009.

Notable races and open seats

State Assembly (2 seats) – 1st Legislative District – Unofficial Results[31]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Nelson Albano * √ 31,946 27.7
Democratic Matthew Milam * √ 29,443 25.5
Republican Michael J. Donohue 27,398 23.8
Republican John A. McCann 26,479 23.0
Total votes 115,266 100
State Assembly (2 seats) – 3rd Legislative District – Unofficial Results[31]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic John Burzichelli * √ 35,125 28.2
Democratic Celeste Riley * √ 31,627 25.4
Republican Robert Villare 30.410 24.4
Republican Lee Lucas 27,228 21.9
Total votes 124,390 100
State Assembly (2 seats) – 4th Legislative District – Unofficial Results[31]
* denotes incumbent
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Paul Moriarty * √ 27,554 26.1
Republican Dominick DiCicco √ 26,811 25.4
Democratic William Collins 25,740 24.4
Republican Eugene E. T. Lawrence 25,471 24.1
Total votes 105,576 100

Defeated incumbents

Incumbents defeated in primary election

Incumbents defeated in general election

Open seat gains

See also


  1. "Official General Election Results" (PDF). New Jersey Division of Elections. Retrieved November 1, 2012.
  2. "Christie wins N.J. gubernatorial race - Politics - More politics". MSNBC. November 4, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  3. "Election News & Results; 2009 New Jersey Election Results with The Star-Ledger". The Star Ledger. November 7, 2009. Retrieved November 7, 2009.
  4. Heininger, Claire (June 15, 2008). "New lieutenant governor slot is a plum for rising stars". Retrieved February 7, 2009.
  5. "Christie: I can repair New Jersey". The Star-Ledger. January 9, 2009. Retrieved January 10, 2009.
  6. "Jon Corzine: Fighting for what matters. Help Re-Elect Governor Jon Corzine this November!". Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  7. "Former EPA Administrator Chris Daggett runs for Governor of New Jersey as an Independent". Independent Political Report. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  8. "Ex-mayor announces bid to challenge Corzine in Dem primary". Politicker NJ. February 12, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  9. "Guttenberg's Jeff Boss to run for governor". The Jersey Journal. December 3, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
  10. "Lonegan announces bid for N.J. governor". The Star-Ledger. December 1, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
  11. "Potential GOP candidate will not run for governor". The Star-Ledger. December 16, 2008. Retrieved December 20, 2008.
  14. Pizarro, Max (January 28, 2009). "Underdog Levine launches gubernatorial bid, promises 'no political hack' appointments". Retrieved January 31, 2009.
  16. Mel Evans/AP. "Judges rule 3 GOP candidates for N.J. governor can't make the ballot". Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  18. "Former GOP rival endorses Chistie for governor". Associated Press. May 7, 2009. Retrieved May 17, 2009.
  19. "GOP candidates Christie, Lonegan push N.J. income tax plans". The Star-Ledger. May 13, 2009. Retrieved July 30, 2009.
  20. "Chris Daggett, independent N.J. Gov candidate, qualifies for public funds". The Star-Ledger. July 7, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  21. "Chris Christie introduces Monmouth Sheriff Kim Guadagno as GOP lieutenant gov. candidate". The Star-Ledger. July 20, 2009. Retrieved July 27, 2009.
  22. "Corzine informs supporters of Weinberg pick". Politicker NJ. July 24, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  23. "Daggett picks Kean University administrator for LG". Politicker NJ. July 27, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  24. "Karl Rove and Chris Christie discussed N.J. governor run while serving as U.S. Attorney". The Star-Ledger. August 12, 2009. Retrieved August 14, 2009.
  25. 1 2 Candidates for Special Senate Election
  26. 1 2 3 4 "Christie leads Corzine in four Democratic districts, according to GOP poll". Politicker NJ. August 19, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  27. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 "'s Battleground 2009". Politicker NJ. August 25, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  28. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Candidate Returns for General Assembly 2009
  29. "Roberts, announcing retirement, calls possible Senate run 'highly unlikely'". Politicker NJ. September 2, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  30. "Camden Democrats nominate Norcross for Assembly". Politicker NJ. September 12, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  31. "Gove replaces Van Pelt in LD 9". Politicker NJ. August 13, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  32. "Corzine swoops into Monmouth and assures local leaders he has heard them on COAH". Politicker NJ. April 8, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  33. "GOP Assembly slate wins in 12th District". November 4, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  34. "O'Leary steps aside in LD 19, calls Spicuzzo to give party chair the news". Politicker NJ. August 17, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  35. "Coughlin wins, will run with Wisniewski in the 19th District". Politicker NJ. September 2, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  36. "Coughlin: 'I don't think Judge Rodriguez knows the district as well as I do'". Politicker NJ. August 29, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  37. "Mainor would likely fill Smith's unexpired term". Politicker NJ. July 23, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  38. "Chiappone and his wife indicted". Politicker NJ. August 26, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.
  39. "Chiappone vows innocence as Roberts, Corzine call on him to resign". Politicker NJ. August 26, 2009. Retrieved March 16, 2011.

External links

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