On Election night, Democrats held on to five of their six Congressional seats in North Jersey.
In a race that national Republicans had targeted in order to flip the House, Tom Kean Jr. stopped short of declaring victory while Rep. Tom Malinowski said the race was too close to call either way at midnight. But fellow Democrats Reps. Mikie Sherrill and Josh Gottheimer, races that the GOP had hoped to pull off a win, won easily over their opponents.
In races that were called by the AP before 9:30, Reps. Bill Pascrell and Donald Payne were declared winners just 90 minutes after polls closed and Rob Menendez won the race for the 8th Congressional District that opened up due to the retirement of fellow Democrat Rep. Albio Sires.
5th Congressional District
Rep. Josh Gottheimer will return to Washington for a fourth terms, defeating Mahwah businessman Frank Pallotta in a rematch from two years ago as the race was called at 11:20 p.m. with a lead of 58%-40%.
The breakdown by county was 58%-41% in Bergen County, 659-40% in Sussex, and 57-41% in Passaic.
Gottheimer attempted to define Pallotta as a right wing extremist, linking him to organizations such as the Oath Keepers and Proud Boys that attacked the U.S. Capitol as well as his position on abortion. Additionally, he noted bipartisan bills that he was instrumental in getting passed over the past two years such as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill and the Invest to Protect Act that won him the backing of New Jersey police unions.
Pallotta argued that Gottheimer was not the centrict he claimed to be, citing his record of voting nearly 100% of the time with President Joe Biden and Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi that resulted in high inflation. He additionally campaigned on two other issues important to conservatives—securing the Southern Border and parental rights in schools.
7th Congressional District
Note: The morning after Election night, Rep. Tom Malinowski has conceded to Tom Kean, Jr. Click here to read that story.
In the hotly contested rematch for the 7th between, Kean Jr. said that he is on “the trajectory for victory” on election night. With 90% of the vote counted, the AP had Kean with a 13,000 vote, or a five point percentage, lead over Malinowski.
Malinowski had held an advantage for most of the night, but appeared to break for Kean after 11 p.m. Malinowski won the district by only 5,000 votes in 2020 and defended a district that is less friendly after the Congressional maps were redrawn.
“Its Election Night and we are still standing,” said Malinowski. “There is no question that we would be winning hands down in the original district….we are still standing as the race is still too close to call.”
The race garnered national attention as Republicans have pointed to the seat as one they will need to win to flip the House, with $4.0 million spent for Kean by Congressional PACs. Kean, who ran a campaign that had little interaction with the press, proclaimed that he would “break the back of inflation,” cut spending without offering specifics and Malinowski under investigation for stock trades while in office.
Malinowski sought to tie Kean to Donald Trump and the MAGA policies of his administration. Abortion played a prominent role during the campaign, with the Democrat point to Kean’s record in Trenton of voting against a woman’s right to choose.
8th Congressional District
Rob Menendez has won the election to the seat his father, Bob, had before ascending to the U.S. Senate. The younger Menendez, replacing the retiring Rep. Albio Sires, defeated Republican Marcos Arroyo with a 80%-16% lead when the AP called him the winner.
Menendez won decisively in all three counties that make up the 8th— receiving 80% of the votes in Hudson, 84% in Essex and 80 in Union.
This was the first race for Menendez, 37, currently a Port Authority commissioner. The Menendez father and son duo will be the first father-son duo to serve together in Congress since Ron and Rand Paul from 2011-13.
9th Congressional District
Rep. Bill Pascrell won his 14th term in office, defeating Paterson native Billy Prempeh, a U.S. Air Force veteran who ran against Pascrell in 2020. Pascrell called the race for the veteran lawaker at 9:30, winning against Prempeh who has been a vocal proponent of the MAGA policies pushed by the party, including immigration and the 2nd Amendment.
Pascrell had 72% of the vote when the race was called—by county, he had a 65%-35% advantage in Bergen County, 65%-35% in Bergen County, a 77%-20% margin in Hudson and 74%-55% triumph in his home county of Passaic.
“In North Jersey and Washington I will remain guided each day to ceaselessly challenging the powerful, protecting democracy at home and abroad, and pushing our government to give Americans better daily lives,” said Pascrell in a press statement. “The challenges before us are great, but Americans can conquer anything. I will be North Jersey’s champion and democracy’s fighter with every cell in my body.”
10th Congressional District
Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. will once again represent one of the Bluest districts in North Jersey. Payne defeated Irvington’s David H. Pinckney. Payne has been elected for a sixth time—he was first elected in 2012 when he replaced his father who died while serving in Congress.
The race was called by the AP at approximately 9:30 with Payne receiving 82% of the vote, with Pickney having 16% for the district made up mostly of Essex County along with Hudson and Union counties.
11th Congressional District
In a bitter battle of former prosecutors that included the New Jersey GOP chairman calling the incumbent a “piece of shit congresswoman” on election night, Rep. Mikie Sherrill had a 62-37% lead over GOP nominee Paul DeGroot.
The breakdown by county was 55-45% in Morris County, 61-38% in Passaic and 73-26% in Essex.
“We have some good news,” said Sherrill on election night. “Since the founding of our nation, it has been New Jersey holding the line….it has always been New Jersey protecting those rights and freedoms. When I look out at the crowd tonight, I know we will always have enough people to hold our democracy.”
At the beginning of the year, pundits had placed Sherrill as a target of Republicans to win back a seat that was Red for 38 years before the Navy veteran’s win in 2018. But the GOP never poured money into the race for DeGroot in the amounts such as in the 7th fro Kean Jr.
Sherrill’s campaign was centered on Democrats accomplishments over the past two years and a woman’s right to choose. The congresswoman said the Supreme Court descion would lead to a nationwide ban. DeGroot, who said he agreed it was a case that rightly ruled by the high court as a state’s rights issue, said that he as pro-choice but said he would be for a ban after 20 weeks.
The former Passaic County prosecutor, DeGroot’s message centered around the rising rate of crime as well as the economy.