Primary Day: What to Watch As New Jersey Goes To The Polls

New Jersey residents–which has the fourth-largest Jewish population in the country—will go to the polls on Tuesday for the state’s 2024 primaries.


New Jersey residents–which has the fourth-largest Jewish population in the country—will go to the polls on Tuesday for the state’s 2024 primaries.

The races will determine who receives the Democratic and Republican nominations to run in November for a wide range of positions. That includes everything from battles for local school boards and town councils to high-stakes elections for Congress and Senate. As well as the presidential elections.

Hundreds of polling sites will be open across the state from 6 AM to 8 PM on Tuesday. As of Friday morning, more than 265,000 voters had submitted mail-in ballots and another 21,000 had voted early in person by machine at dozens of locations.

Here are some notable races worth watching:

U.S. Senate:

The race for the open Senate seat after Senator Bob Menendez, who was indicted by the Justice Department on alleged Bribery charges in 2023, announced he would not seek the Democratic nomination. But on Monday filed to run as an independent candidate

On the Democratic side, the race was between New Jersey First Lady Tammy Murphy (wife of Governor Phil Murphy) and Rep. Andy Kim. However, the First Lady dropped out in March viewing the race as “unwinnable.”

On the ballot: Democrats: Patricia Campos Medina, Kevin Cupples; Lawrence Hamm; Andrew Kim; Patrick Merrill. Republicans: Curtis Bashaw; Michael Estrada; Albert Harshaw; Shirley Maia-Cusick; Gregg Mele; Justin Murphy; Christine Serrano Glassner; and Alex Zdan.


NJ-3: The race for the open seat of Rep. Andy Kim, who vacated to run the abovementioned senate race, is between Herb Conaway, Brian Schkeeper, Joe Cohn, Sarah Schoengood and Carol Murphy, on the Democrat side. And Rajesh Mohan, Shirley Maia-Cusick, Gregory Sobocinski and Michael Francis Faccone, on the GOP side.

NJ-4, which includes Lakewood, Toms River and Jackson: Rep. Chris Smith, a Republican who has been in Congress for 42 years, faces a primary challenge from David Schmidt. Democrat Matthew Jenkins, who lost to Smith in the 2022 general election, is unopposed in his primary.

NJ-8: This includes Hudson County (including Union and Jersey City), Elizabeth, and parts of Newark. The highly contested and expensive race includes Incumbent, Rep. Rob Menendez Jr. (son of indicted Senator Bob Menendez), Mayor Ravi Bhalla, and Kyle Jasey. On the GOP side, Anthony Valdes is running unopposed.

NJ-9: Veteran Rep. Bill Pascrell is facing a divisive and bitter anti-Israel candidate, Mohamed Khairullah, a wannabe “squad” member. The district has the largest population of “Palestinians” in the U.S. but has a large Jewish population in Fairview, Paterson, Clifton, and Passaic. While all eyes are on the Democratic race, two Republicans—Hector Castillo and Billy Prempeh — are vying for the GOP party’s nomination.

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