HCDO Candidates Sweep Legislative Primary Races

The only contested Primary race in either the Democratic or Republican parties on Tuesday was for State Senate in the 31st District, which covers Bayonne and some of Jersey City.

Hudson County Democratic Organization-backed candidate Angela McKnight is hoping to move up from the Assembly to replace retiring Senator Sandra Cunningham.  She defeated opponent Michael Griffin for the Democratic nomination, receiving 75.48% of the vote, compared to Griffin’s 24.25%, a margin of almost 5,000 votes. Brian Stack won his uncontested Democratic Primary in his bid to retain his Senate seat.

Luis Soto ran unopposed in the Republican Primary.

With redistricting, the 32nd and 33rd Legislative Districts shifted around a bit.  Hoboken is now in the 32nd, having vacated the 33rd, while West New York moves out of the 32nd into the 33rd.  Democratic Assemblyman Raj Mukherji from the 33rd, won his primary for a Senate seat in the 32nd.

Both the 32nd and the 33rd Districts will have new Assembly representation.  In the 32nd, first time candidates Jessica Ramirez and John Allen won the Democratic Primary with the HCDO’s support, while Robert Ramos and Alex Garcia won the Republican Primary.

In District 33, running unopposed for the Assembly were former North Bergen Commissioner Julio Marenco and former West New York Mayor Gabriel Rodriguez, backed by the HCDO.  No Republicans ran in the Primary.

The only contested Assembly primary was in the 31st District on the Democratic side. HCDO-backed incumbent William Sampson and newcomer Barbara McCann Stamato defeated Shanelle Smith, with more than 40% of the votes apiece.

Yesterday was also the deadline to file as an independent candidate for the November election.  There will be two, independent Assembly candidates in the 31st District.  Current Bayonne board of Education Trustee and former city Councilwoman Mary Jane Desmond has filed, as has Jersey City Board of Education Vice President Noemi Velazquez.