STATE – New Jersey voters will be able to express their choice for who should represent the state in the U.S. Senate today in a special primary election, but most observers believe that few will turn out to cast ballots.
The winner of the Democratic Primary is likely to take the Senate seat in October. New Jersey has not elected a Republican Senator since 1972.
The special election was necessitated by Sen. Frank Lautenberg’s death in June. Six candidates – four Democrats and two Republicans – are vying for the remainder of his term, which ends in January 2015. The winners of today’s primary will face off in a special election on Oct. 16.
The Democratic primary is a battle between Congressmen Rush Holt and Frank Pallone, Assembly Speaker Sheila Oliver, and Newark Mayor Cory Booker.
On the Republican side, former Bogota mayor Steve Lonegan and Piscataway medical doctor Alieta Eck are running.
Just over 1,000 Union County Democrats requested ballots in the special primary election while 258 Republicans and 115 unaffiliated voters have submitted applications to vote by mail.
In the June primary, 858 mail-in votes were cast out of a total 37,425 ballots. There were 166,084 eligible voters.
Mail-In ballots accounted for 2,329 votes in the June 11, 2012 primary, in which 162,957 voters were eligible and 45,046 voted.
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