1st District

In a district the George W. Bush carried one year ago, Democrat Jefferson Van Drew won a massive landslide in his bid for a third term: he finished almost 9,000 votes ahead of his running mate, nearly 16,000 votes ahead of the Republican incumbent, and more than 24,000 votes in front of the other GOP candidate. Helped by Van Drew’s coattails, state Democratic money and numerous mistakes by the state GOP, Democrat Nelson Albano, a Vineland labor official and advocate for tough drunk driving laws, defeated six-term Republican Jack Gibson by 6,749 votes. Gibson trailed Albano in Cape May County by 107 votes (running more than 2,000 votes behind the GOP Sheriff and County Clerk candidates). Gibson, who lost to Van Drew in 2001 and returned in 2003, is possibly the only Assemblyman in modern New Jersey history to lose the same seat twice. Republicans were in trouble back in April when their candidate for the second, seat, Upper Township Committeeman Andrew McCrosson, forgot to file his nominating petitions. That left a perennial gadfly, George Cecola, unopposed. State Republicans tried to mount a write-in campaign to nominate former Cumberland County Freeholder James Sauro, but without the support of Cape May Republicans, they failed, allowing Cecola to take the second slot.

1st District