Legislative Redistricting Could Create Havoc For Incumbents

By Art Gallagher

The New Jersey Legislative Reapportionment Commission has until April 3rd to produce a new map of legislative districts.  Candidates for State Senate and Assembly from the major parties will have to submit their nominating petitions during the week of April 11th, unless there is legislation that changes the date of the petition submission and/or the primary.

Patrick Murray of the Monmouth University Polling Institute has produced two maps for columns he has written at PolitickernjBoth his “Constitutional” map, which Murray concedes is only almost constitutional as conflicting standards make a purely constitutional map impossible, and his “Competitive” map would create conflicts among Monmouth County incumbent legislators based upon their residency.

Murray’s “constitutional map” (town list here) would put Assemblymen Declan O’Scanlon (Little Silver) and Dave Rible in the 11th district, based upon their respective residencies, and move Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini (Ocean Township) into the 9th where there would be a seat available as Murray’s constitutional map moves Assembly incumbents Brain Rumpf and Diane Grove into the 2nd district. 

Senators Jennifer Beck and Joe Kyrillos would be competing for the Senate seat in the 13th.  Robert Singer would become the incumbent Senator in the 12th district (Beck’s seat) and there would be an Assembly vacancy in 12.  The 12th vacancy would presumably be filled by a resident of Colts Neck, Farmingdale, Howell, Jackson or Lakewood.   Lakewood would be the largest town in the district by population.

Murray’s “competitive” map (town list), like his “constitutional” map also puts Red Bank and Middletown in the 13th district, pitting Beck and Kyrillos against each other.  The competitive map moves Old Bridge out of the 13th into a newly constituted 40th district comprised of Middlesex County towns.  This moves Sam Thomspon (Old Bridge) into a more competitive district.  Declan O’Scanlon (Little Silver) would be an incumbent in the new 13th.

Caroline Casagrande (Colts Neck) in the only incumbent in Murray’s competitive 12th.  Casagrande could step up and seek the Senate seat, creating two Assembly vacancies.  Look for Freeholder Director Rob Clifton (Matawan) to seek a seat in the legislature in this scenario.  Freeholder Lillian Burry (Colts Neck) could be a contender too.  On the Democratic side, Marlboro Mayor Jon Hornick would be a likely contender for a vacant seat.  A Casagrande vs. Hornick battle for Senate could be a classic race. 

All incumbents are safe in Murray’s competitive 11th.

One source close to the redistricting process told me that Murray’s maps are a “nice rainy day read,” and that neither the Democrats or Republicans proposed maps are close to his scenarios.  I guess that makes this piece a nice rainy day read too.

There will be a great deal of uncertainty and speculation until the actual new map is released.  And there is uncertain information about how incumbent conflicts based upon residency would be handled. One GOP leader told me that “he thought” that someone could run for a seat in a district that they don’t live in, but would have to move into the district within one year if they won.   Another official said there in no residency requirement in the State Constitution and that statutes governing residency could be easily changed after the new map is released.

Whatever happens there will be a lot of moving and shaking during the first couple of weeks in April, and a lot of hair pulling until then.

Posted: March 10th, 2011 | Author: | Filed under: Legislature, Reapportionment | Tags: , | 7 Comments »

7 Comments on “Legislative Redistricting Could Create Havoc For Incumbents”

  1. James Hogan said at 1:54 pm on March 10th, 2011:

    Art, do you know if the county screening committee for the party nomination is still scheduled for March 26? It seems like it would need to be after the lines are drawn to know who might be running where? Has it been delayed or will the process continue as if nothing will change and then re-addressed later if there is a change? Am I missing something?

  2. Interesting point, Jim, said at 2:46 pm on March 10th, 2011:

    but as far as we’ve heard, the 26th is on..guess any changes would be addressed later, and we know the filing deadline on April 11th is still the same, for the parties’ slates.. what an every- 10-year mess!

  3. Justified Right said at 4:32 pm on March 10th, 2011:

    In one he has Howell in the 12th, and the other in the 11th.

    Please get us out of the 30th!

    I like our representatives – but it’s an Ocean County district.

    I want to be back in Monmouth!

  4. ArtGallagher said at 5:31 pm on March 10th, 2011:


    With all incumbents seeking another term for the legislature and no announced challengers seeking nominations, I’m surmising that the chairman’s thinking is that screening of the legislative candidates is a formality and that incumbents will be awarded the county party line.

    There will likely be chaos if there are conflicts between incumbents after the districts are known.

  5. Freespeaker1976 said at 6:04 pm on March 10th, 2011:

    Just CAN’T wait till Congressional Redistricting for next year.

    Sadly though, I doubt Frank Pallone will be redistricted out of office 🙁

  6. Gene Baldassari said at 6:59 pm on March 10th, 2011:

    Assuming that there are no challengers, then then April 11th would be no problem.

    However, challengers need much more time to find their signatures.

    I believe that there will be some challengers. Since I rarely support Party endorsed candidates (big spenders) , this would take away my right to vote.

    It would also guarantee that we would have another term of big spenders who continue to undermine the wealth of NJ.

  7. Hey, Jim, said at 11:02 am on March 12th, 2011:

    just read your blog regarding the “elephants in the room” at the OT candidates’ talk..with all due respect, the county Freeholder board can do NOTHING, either way, on abortion, gun rights, or the continuing Abbott districts’ over-funding and over-spending, they simply are not within their purview at all.. am not surprised Newberry seems to be the most conservative in views, the reason I like him the best is, he’s such an honest, decent, forthright guy, with very little personal agenda or big ego-exactly the kind of guy we need, right now, in these tough times!.. I understand you like to vet all their views, but the Freeholders can only cut the county’s spending, and try and hold the line on the services people do want..the county often gets blamed, as the easily-accessible branch of gov’t. the Press likes to pick apart, for more than they really have control over: the county’s portion of your entire tax bill is only like 17%.. so, much due-diligence by voters MUST be directed at the worse culprits: the school boards, and the municipalities: it’s time to stop building new and grander edifices, with their names on the plaques, at our expense, and, like us, make do with what we already have!!