Large Number of Candidates Running For NJ Legislature

Apr 4, 2017

New Jersey Statehouse

Nearly 300 candidates are competing for a chance to run for the New Jersey legislature in the June Primary.

The 192 Assembly candidates are the most since 2001. The 88 seeking a Senate seat is the highest since 2003.

Seton Hall political science professor Matthew Hale says five Senators are retiring or seeking higher office.

"So you're seeing a lot of people want to take that shot because they're not sure when it's going to come around again."

Montclair State political scientist Brigid Harrison says there might be more candidates this year because of a heightened interest in politics.

"Given the kind of passion that we've seen being evoked because of some of the policies and politics of the Trump administration, I think it has motivated a lot of people who perhaps had always toyed with the idea of running for office."

Monmouth University political analyst Patrick Murray believes the majority of the races won’t be very competitive because the candidate backed by the party organization has the advantage.

“If you’re an insurgent candidate, you have to overcome the get out the vote effort of the party organization in your district. What we find is that many of these candidates really don’t have the grass roots support and those connections and networks that would allow them to overcome that.”