EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - Though many positions were unchallenged within their parties, today's primary elections established official candidates in New Jersey for the state, county, and local levels that could have a major impact on national, statewide, and local politics. Will New Jersey be part of the "Blue Wave" of Democrats who will challenge the policies of President Donald Trump, a new voice of "across-the-aisle" leadership, or a compliant group of conservatives who are eager to see America be "great again?"
First out of the box will be incumbent Senator Robert Menendez, whose handy victory over Democratic challenger Lisa McCormick is no surprise. (Menendez 59%, McCormack 40%) Menendez has been a member of the Senate since 2006, serving as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, fighting for the rights of immigrants, and against the use of chemical weapons in Syria. Since 2015, Menendez has indicted on federal corruption charges in the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey for giving favors and gifts to a friend. Charges against him were dropped in January, 2018. In East Brunswick, Menendez has won 61% of the vote, to McCormick's 39%
Running against Menendez is Bob Hugin, who garnered 79% of the statewide Republican vote against his opponent Brian Goldberg with 20%. Hugin, who hails from Union City, also the home of Menendez, is a former officer in the United States Marines Corps. Hugin has spent the last 19 years as a leader in healthcare and advocate for modernizing the American healthcare system, serving as Chairman and CEO of the Celgene Corporation and as a Trustee of the Atlantic Health System. In East Brunswick, Bob Hugin has won 75% of the vote to Goldberg's 25%.
Democratic Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman, another advocate for civil rights and for "commonsense" gun laws ran unopposed in the primary. She has won 5,548 Democratic votes.
Her opponent will be Republican Daryl Kipnis who earned 2,493 Republican votes in the township. Kipnis is a 1998 graduate of East Brunswick High School whose platform addresses student loan debt, infrastructure, immigration, education, and America's relationship with Israel.
Incumbent Democratic Freeholder Shanti Narra and Director Ronald Rios will be the Democratic candidates for Middlesex County Freeholders. Their opponents will be Republicans Rich Castaldo and Lewis Glogower.
In East Brunswick,three seats are in play on the town council. Mike Hughes, Republican former Council President, will not seek another term. Camille Ferraro Clark (R) and Jim Wendell (D) are both up for re-election. The Democratic candidates to fill these seats will be Kevin McEvoy, who served as mayor for 11 months in 2016 following the resignation of David Stahl: Sharon Sullivan, a new candidate with a long affiliation with the Democratic Party, and Jim Wendell, who currently serves as head of the township's Redevelopment Agency.