James Dowden, a Democrat who spent twenty years as the popular Mayor of heavily-Republican Bridgewater, still shows interest in running for State Senator in the 1th district next year. Republicans are facing a possible primary between longtime incumbent Walter Kavanaugh and Assemblyman Christopher Bateman. Somerset County showed some signs of shifting toward the Democrats this week: U.S. Senator Robert Menendez won 48% of the vote in Somerset County and Democratic Freeholder candidates came within about 1,500 votes of winning. Dowden was the Mayor from 1973 until his retirement in 2003.