HUDSON COUNTY AND BEYOND – In a Democratic primary election that divided Hudson County and a good portion of northern New Jersey, voters gave victories to Rep. Albio Sires in the 8th District, Bill Pascrell in the 9th and Donald Payne, Jr. in the 10th.
Unopposed, Democratic incumbent U.S. Sen. Robert Menendez was nominated for his third term and will face off in November against Republican state Sen. Joseph Kyrillos, who handily defeated three challengers.
Sires received 28,784 over his challenger Michael J. Shurin who received 3,563 votes, clearing the way for Sires to run against Republican Maria Karczewski, a former Bayonne City Council member, in November. Sires, a former mayor of West New York and former speaker of the state Assembly, will run for his fourth term. Other independent challengers include Herb Shaw of North Bergen, Stephen DeLuca of Jersey City, and Pablo Olivera of Newark. DeLuca previously ran unsuccessfully for Hudson County Executive.
Payne overwhelmingly defeated four challengers in the 10th district, with about 37,000 district wide votes, to run for the seat vacated by the death of his father, Rep. Donald Payne, Sr. Newark Councilman Ronald Rice finished second with just over 11,000 votes, and Gil, who won in the Hudson County portion of the 10th District, finished third with just under 10,000.
Payne, who had the support of the Essex County Democratic organization, where most of the voting took place, will face off against Republican Brian C. Kelemen of Bayonne in the November election. Joanne Miller of Newark and Mick Erickson of West Orange have filed to run as independents in the 10th district in November.
In one of the most watched elections in the state, Pascrell overwhelming defeated Rothman after the two eight-term congressmen confronted each other in the newly reconfigured 9th District. With just under 28,000 votes, Pascrell beat Rothman, who collected 15,283 votes.
Rothman, who had been sharply criticized for choosing a primary fight rather than take on a strong Republican challenge in a neighboring district, said it was unlikely that he would seek elected office in the future
Pascrell will face Republican Schmuley Boteach and independents E David Smith and Jeanette Woolsey in November.
In the sole election for Hudson County, incumbent Hudson County Clerk Barbara Netchert beat Paul Lichstein to win the Democratic nomination.
Of 320,341 registered voters in Hudson County, about 41,000 cast votes in the June 5 primary or about 12.69 percent. Of this, about 36,000 Democrats voted, compared to just under 5,000 Republicans. – Al Sullivan