Battleground ’09: Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties only

It is possible that the only real contests in the 2009 State Assembly races will be the four seats in the first and second districts, where three freshmen who won competitive ’07 races will presumably be seeking re-election.

In District 1, Nelson Albano, re-elected to a second term last month, and freshman Matthew Milam, will compete in this politically competitive district without the benefit of newly-elected State Senator Jeff Van Drew at the top of the ticket. If Nicholas Asselta, who lost his Senate seat to Van Drew, would be an extremely formidable candidate if he seeks a comeback as an Assembly candidate in 2009 – and could help bring in a second Republican.

In District 2, Republicans John Amodeo and Vincent Polistina won by narrow margins in a district where Democrats ousted a Republican Senator. Amodeo and Polistina – who do not like each other – will be at the top of the Democratic target list.

Other races that were competitive in 2007 may not be so hotly contested in two years – the last campaign before the 2011 legislative redistricting. At this point in time, when it really is too early to tell, pundits seem to agree that Republican incumbents will be favored in Districts 11, 12, and 39 – as will Democratic incumbents in Districts 7, 8 and 14.

Battleground ’09: Atlantic, Cape May and Cumberland counties only