Morning News Digest: Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Good morning, New Jersey. Democrat Barack Obama won the Garden State’s 15 electoral votes and will be the 44th President of the United States. Democratic U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg easily won re-election beating former Congressman Dick Zimmer.

In New Jersey’s three competitive U.S. House races, Democratic State Sen. John Adler won the open-seat 3rd Congressional District; Republican U.S. Rep. Scott Garrett won re-election in the 5th Congressional District; and Republican State Sen. Leonard Lance defeated Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender, keeping the 7th Congressional District under Republican control.

And, Gov. Jon Corzine is being vetted for Treasury secretary by the Obama transition team, according to the Star-Ledger. Details follow …

There’s plenty of downballot election news from City Council to Freeholder to Mayor. Check back with throughout the day for post-Election Day news developments, reaction and analysis.

Click here for’s overview of New Jersey’s big races:

A complete digest of election news follows …

Adler wins 3rd Congressional District; Dems win two Freeholder seats, County Clerk seat

MOUNT LAUREL – There was a loud roar when State Sen. John Adler took the stage to make his congressional victory speech at the Marriott Hotel on Tuesday night. “I guess that’s what it sounds like when you wait 122 years to vote for a Democrat,” said Adler. It was a huge night for South Jersey Democrats. Not only was it a good night for Adler, the first Democrat to represent this district since the late 19th century, but for the Burlington County Democrats, who picked up a County Clerk seat and two freeholders – routing the Republicans this time around. (Matt Friedman,

County chairman relishes a victory

MOUNT LAUREL — Burlington County Democratic Chairman Rick Perr inherited a perennial minority party. Tuesday, it became relevant. It was a lower-profile victory than Congressional candidate John Adler’s, which Burlington County played an integral role in. But now the Burlington Democrats have ridden a wave to take two freeholder seats and the county clerk’s office. (Matt Friedman,

Republican defies national Democratic wave

SOMERVILLE – Claiming victory here tonight in his 7th Congressional District contest, state Sen. Leonard Lance (R-Hunterdon) gave this crowd of Republicans reason to celebrate on an otherwise mostly difficult landscape. The campaign of Democratic Assemblywoman Linda Stender attempted to depict Lance as a Bush drone, and he ran much of the race without the necessary cash to punch back. But the man most see as a moderate was able to win three of the district's four counties – Hunterdon, Union, and Somerset – with his own brand intact, said state Senate President Tom Kean, Jr. (Max Pizarro,

Lautenberg wins re-election

U.S. Sen. Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) cruised past Republican challenger Dick Zimmer Tuesday night, winning a record fifth term in office. With 98 percent of the precincts reporting, Lautenberg won 55 percent to Zimmer's 43 percent, according to Associated Press tallies. (Claire Heinineger, Star-Ledger)

Sources: Governor being vetted for Treasury secretary

Gov. Jon Corzine, a multimillionaire and former Wall Street chief executive, is being actively vetted by the Obama transition team as a possible candidate for Treasury secretary in the new administration, two New Jersey Democrats familiar with the process said early this morning. As part of the vetting process, the transition team is reviewing Corzine's financial and personal documents, the sources said. The sources asked not to be identified because the vetting process is confidential. (Josh Margolin, Star-Ledger)

Burry retains freeholder seat; 2nd seat headed into recount

Monmouth County Freeholder Director Lillian Burry won comfortably Tuesday, but the second seat remains up for grabs with provisional ballots left to be counted, according to the Monmouth County Clerk’s Office. Burry won with 136,875 votes. As it stands now, Democrat Amy Mallet leads Republican John Curley by 18 votes, or 135,688 to 135,670. Mallet’s running mate, Glenn Mason, lost with 127,699 votes. (Max Pizarro,

Results in local Monmouth races show GOP strength

In the Matawan Borough Council race, Republican Thomas Fitzsimmons and his running mate, Joseph Urbano, defeated their Democratic Party rivals. Fitzsimmons ran state Sen. Jennifer Beck's (R-Monmouth) victorious 2007 campaign over Ellen Karcher and remains a Republican Party Trenton insider and Beck confidante. In Middletown, Republican Deputy Mayor Pam Brightbill and her running mate, Tony Fiore, defeated their Democratic Party rivals to maintain a Republican majority on the Township Committee. (Matt Friedman,

Bell wins over Osborne

Former Councilman Charles Bell defeated Eddie Osborne in the Central Ward tonight, by a 900-vote margin without provisional ballots. (Max Pizarro,

Dems secure 7-0 Freeholder majority

Democrats picked up a Freeholder seat and ousted a Republican Surrogate tonight in Cumberland County, giving Democrats a 7-0 majority on the Freeholder Board. Republican Surrogate Arthur Marchand lost to Freeholder Douglas Rainear by a 55%-45% margin. (

Five-term lawman defeated

In the race for Atlantic County Sheriff, Republican Frank Balles ousted five-term Democrat Jim McGettigan by a 55%-45% margin. (

Blanco defeats Capuana

Physician Alex Blanco won the mayor's contest here tonight, defeating runner-up Vincent Capuana by 400 votes. Blanco won with 3,872 or 28.01 percent of the vote. Capuana received 3,465 votes, Jose Sandoval received 2,741 votes, Jose Garcia received 2,626 and Carl Ellen received 1,052 votes. (Max Pizarro,

Clerk's Office shows Lucianan edging LaBoy in council race

In the race for former Councilman Marcellus Jackson’s vacated seat, the Passaic County Clerk’s Office has designated Kenneth Lucianan a close winner over Angel LaBoy, 2769 to 2707 votes. Although a challenge is likely, a win by Lucianan would mean that both candidates endorsed by Acting Mayor/Assemblyman Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) emerged victorious Tuesday night. (Max Pizarro,

Smith: 'Time for Bayonne to move forward'

"Now is the time for Bayonne to move forward together, to be unified and make Bayonne the gem of Hudson County again," Mayor-elect Mark Smith told supporters at the Chandelier Restaurant in his victory speech tonight. For nearly 25 years, Smith has patrolled the streets of Bayonne as a city peacekeeper. Starting tomorrow, the 45-year-old police director will be walking the corridors of City Hall as the city's newly elected chief executive, having decisively beaten his nearest challenger, Patrick Conaghan, by a vote of 9,311 to 6,742 in today's special mayoral election. (Ronald Leir, Bayonne Now)

Langford to make mayoral return

The city's largest voter turnout in recent memory launched Lorenzo T. Langford back to the mayor's office Tuesday, making him the resort's fourth mayor in 13 months. Langford, who served as mayor from 2001 to 2005, will immediately replace outgoing Mayor Scott Evans and complete the final year of a four-year term started by Bob Levy, which ended when he abruptly resigned amid scandal last year. (Michael Clark, Press of Atlantic City)

Andrews returns to N.J. House seat

Democratic Rep. Rob Andrews has been re-elected to the congressional seat he had promised to vacate earlier this year to mount a campaign for the U.S. Senate. The 51-year-old Andrews easily fended off a challenge from Republican challenger Dale Glading to win his 10th term representing the 1st District, which includes parts of Burlington, Camden and Gloucester counties. (The Associated Press)

LoBiondo survives Democratic surge

U.S. Rep. Frank LoBiondo staved off a Democratic challenge to hold onto his congressional seat as a rare Republican to survive Tuesday’s Democratic sweep. LoBiondo, R-2nd, defeated Democrat Dave Kurkowski and four other candidates by a comfortable margin but didn’t claim victory until 10:53 p.m., well after the region’s other races were called. (Daniel Walsh, Press of Atlantic City)

Garrett wins re-election

Republican Rep. Scott Garrett was elected to a fourth term in Congress today, beating back a stiff challenge from Democrat Dennis Shulman, after a heated campaign laced with character attacks. Rep. Scott Garret watches returns at the GOP headquarters in Hackensack. With 94 percent of precincts reporting, Garrett had 56.8 percent of the vote, ahead of Shulman who had 42.1 percent. (The Record)

Pascrell wins re-election

Democratic Rep. Bill Pascrell won re-election in the 8th Congressional District. Pascrell won the solidly Democratic district, which includes parts of Essex and Passaic counties. He defeated Republican challenger Roland "Rollie" Straten, a retired businessman. The 71-year-old Pascrell served as the mayor of Paterson and in the New Jersey Assembly for eight years before winning his House seat in 1996. (The Associated Press)

Rothman retains U.S. House seat

In a rematch of their race two years ago, Democrat Steve Rothman has beat Republican challenger Vince Micco in the 9th Congressional District. Rothman has held the seat since 1996. The 56-year-old served as the mayor of Englewood from 1983 to 1989, and as a Bergen County Surrogate Court Judge from 1993 to 1996. (The Associated Press)

Sires easily wins re-election

Rep. Albio Sires, a first-term Democrat in the House of Representatives, won more than 75 percent of the vote in his bid for reelection to Congress. With 97 percent of the precincts counted in the 13th District, Sires had more than 111,000 votes to about 32,000 for Republican challenger Joseph Turula. (Star-Ledger)

No surprises in Bergen voting

The balance of political power in Bergen County remained largely unchanged Tuesday. Democrats kept all of the seats on the freeholder board and maintained majorities in many of the municipalities already dominated by Democrats. Only two municipalities experienced a change in their councils’ majorities. Emerson is now majority Democratic, and Park Ridge now has a Republican majority. (Michael Gartland, The Record)

3 Dems cruise to win in Ewing, GOP blames ‘Obama effect’

Three Democratic incumbents held onto their council seats yesterday as they coasted to an easy victory over a GOP slate that accused them of poor fiscal management. Bert Steinmann, Joe Murphy and Les Summiel, who urged voters to focus on their accomplishments in office, said the victory proved their brand of leadership is what the public wants. (Lisa Coryell, Times of Trenton)

Democrats hold on to power

Essex County Democrats claimed overwhelming victory Tuesday, with Democratic Freeholders handily winning re-election in both the at-large and district seats. Pockets of western Essex County, including Cedar Grove, North Caldwell, Roseland, West Caldwell and Fairfield, retained their Republican majority and the GOP picked up seats in Millburn and in Caldwell. Millburn's committee shifted to a 3-2 Republican majority and Caldwell's council became evenly split between Democrats and Republicans, though Caldwell still has a Democratic mayor, who can vote to break a tie. (Star-Ledger)

Democrats deflect GOP attempt to capture Freeholder seat

Despite an aggressive campaign by Republicans to capture a seat on the Gloucester County Board of Freeholders, the Democratic incumbents were easily reelected. Incumbents Stephen Sweeney, Frank DiMarco and Warren Wallace won new terms on a seven-member board where a Republican has not served in a decade. Sweeney, the state Senate majority leader, has been freeholder director for 10 years. (Jan Hefler, The Inquirer)

N.J. tightens controls for borrowing

New Jersey voters decided yesterday to put tighter restrictions on how the state borrows money. But they rejected a measure that would have allowed local officials, rather than the governor, to appoint joint municipal judges who serve multiple communities. With about 76 percent of votes counted, the borrowing question was backed by 57 percent of voters. The judicial appointments question was endorsed by only 45 percent of voters. (The Associated Press) Morning News Digest: Wednesday, November 5, 2008