On November 5, New Jersey residents voted for all 80 seats in the General Assembly and decided on the state ballot question: whether New Jersey should amend the State constitution to extend property tax deductions to military veterans who live in continuing care retirement communities.
Overwhelmingly, New Jerseyans approved expanding the deduction with 75.6 percent voting in favor. Currently, only veterans living in their own homes receive property tax deductions; the decision will expand the benefit to veterans living in continuing care retirement communities statewide. This benefit will cost taxpayers less than $1 million annually.
Control of the General Assembly was at stake in this year’s election. The Assembly provides two seats to each of the 40 districts in the state. Prior to the 2019 elections, Democrats held 54 seats and Republican held 26―the largest majority for either party since 1978. Following election night, Democrats maintained 42 seats (and are currently leading in another 4 races) and Republicans won 14 (and currently lead in 8 races). The New Jersey Division of Elections will certify election results in December. A full breakdown of the Assembly races and votes can be found here.
Major races involved the 1st, 2nd, 8th, 11th, 16th, 21st and 25th districts. In District 1, which includes all of Cape May County and parts of Atlantic and Cumberland County, Republicans won in the Assembly as well as the Senate. The state’s first Senate district held a special election because longtime State Senator Jeff Van Drew (D) won election to New Jersey’s 2nd Congressional District in the U.S. House of Representatives in November 2018. Former Assemblyman Robert Andrzejczak (D) was appointed to fill the vacated seat, but on November 5 was narrowly unseated by Republican candidate Michael Testa Jr., with 53 percent of votes. Ocean County also favored Republicans, whereas all the other counties in the South voted Democratic. Camden County, divided into the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th districts, all voted blue.
Three municipalities in Camden County voted on proposals separate from the State ballot question. Collingswood residents voted on whether to increase taxes for the school district to provide additional mental health services to students; 65 percent voted yes. 78 percent of Brooklawn voters approved a measure to provide annual income contributions to each active volunteer firefighter. Winslow Township asked about a capital improvement program for Fire District No.1 to improve the fire department’s equipment; 71 approved.
Also in Camden, residents voted for school board officials for the first time since 2013. Residents elected three of 9 candidates. Education for Everyone candidate Nyemah Gillespie won the highest number of votes (2,070), and Falio Leyba-Martinez (Education for Everyone) and Elton Custis (Camden Votes) won the other two seats.