With NJ’s Legislature Up for Grabs, You Need a Big Picture to Assess the Action

This story is part of a regular series exploring where the candidates stand on major issues and assessing key considerations in this year’s elections. Follow these links to read about how the candidates say they’d ease New Jersey’s fiscal crisis; why the Democrats favor single-payer healthcare; and the reasons the Republicans are cool on the ACA replacement bill.

Legislative primaries in New Jersey rarely drum up the kind of voter turnout that their general election counterparts do, but that isn’t keeping candidates in this season’s most competitive races from gunning hard for the opportunity — even harder, perhaps, than in years past, thanks to a number of unique factors shaping the 2017 cycle.

A total of 278 candidates have thrown their names into the mix for state Senate and Assembly seats this year, resulting in contested primaries in almost half New Jersey’s 40 districts. It’s one of the largest fields the state has seen in a dozen years, with far more contested seats than when the Assembly was alone on the ballot two years ago.

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