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Gerald Ford was one of five Presidents since World War II to carry New Jersey in a year when the President’s party defeated an incumbent Congressman. In 1976, Harold Hollenbeck unseated six-term Democrat Henry Helstoski in the ninth congressional district. Bill Clinton won New Jersey in 1996 and Bill Pascrell ousted one-term GOP Congressman Bill Martini. Ronald Reagan carried New Jersey twice. In 1980, Christopher Smith upset 13-term Democrat Frank Thompson, and Marge Roukema unseated three-term Democrat Andrew Maguire. Dean Gallo beat eleven-term Democrat Joseph Minish in 1984. Lyndon Johnson’s New Jersey victory in 1964 helped Democrats pick up two House seats: Thomas McGrath defeated four-term Republican Milton Glenn and Helstoski ousted Frank Osmers, who had served from 1938 to 1942 (when he gave up his seat to join the U.S. Army during World War II) and again from 1951. Dwight Eisenhower had large enough coattails in 1956 to help a Republican win a congressional seat in Hudson County: Vincent Dellay narrowly defeated Thomas James Tumulty, a freshman Democrat who had been Assembly Minority Leader and after that, the more powerful position of Secretary to the Mayor of Jersey City. In the same year, Florence Dwyer ousted Democratic Congressman Harrison Williams. John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and George H.W. Bush all carried New Jersey, but their parties failed to oust an incumbent in any of those five elections. Footnote: Democrat Hugh Addonizio, who would go on to serve two terms as Mayor of Newark before his criminal conviction, unseated three-term Republican Congressman Frank Sundstrom in 1948, but New Jersey backed Republican Thomas Dewey over President Harry Truman that year.

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