Four Democratic Assembly seats not expected to be in play in 2007 turned out to be especially close, including Linda Stender, who won re-election in 2007 about the same number of votes Mike Ferguson did in his congressional race against her 2006 bid.
Stender defeated Republican Robert Gatto, who spent about $100 and mounted no real campaign, by just 3,327 votes in the 22nd district. Her running mate, Gerald Green, defeated Bryan Des Roschers by just 3,260 votes. Gatto and Des Roschers have both lost bids for municipal office.
Stender is now the Democratic nominee for Congress in the seventh district.
In the 36th district, Freshman Democratic Assemblyman Gary Schaer, the Passaic City Council President, won by just 2,370 votes over Republican Don Diorio and by only 2,474 votes over Republican Carmen Pio Costa. Democratic Assemblyman Frederick Scaleraran886 votes ahead of Schaer.
The margins for Stender, Green, Schaer and Scalera were actually less than several incumbents believed to be in tough races, including Nelson Albano, Linda Greenstein, John Rooney and Charlotte Vandervalk.