Republicans received 52% of the total votes cast for State Assembly candidates in 2009, but won just 41% of the seats in a chamber where Democrats hold a 47-33 majority. A total of 2,181,345 were cast for GOP Assembly candidates, compared to 2,001,772 (48%) for Democratic candidates. Legislative candidates from both parties ran about a million votes ahead of their gubernatorial candidates.
This will help validate Republican claims that the 2001 redistricting plan benefitted Democrats; it also illustrates how much growth there has been in Republican areas of the state.
Among Assembly candidates, the top vote getter in the state was Brian Rumpf (R-Little Egg Harbor) who received 54,311 votes in his Ocean County-based ninth district. Second was his running mate, DiAnne Gove (R-Long Beach), who won 52,667 votes. As a matter of comparison, that is about two and a half times the number of votes cast for Democrats Grace Spencer (D-Newark) and Albert Coutinho (D-Newark) in District 29, the most Democratic in the state.
Indeed, the top fifteen Assembly vote getters statewide are all Republicans:
- Brian Rumpf (R-Little Egg Harbor), 54,311
- DiAnne Gove (R-Long Beach), 52,667
- Alison McHose (R-Franklin), 50,973
- John DiMaio (R-Hackettstown), 49,137
- Eric Peterson (R-Annandale), 48,067
- Gary Chiusano (R-Augusta), 47,741
- David Wolfe (R-Brick), 47,336
- Joseph Malone (R-Bordentown), 47,325
- James Holzapfel (R-Toms River), 45,916
- Ronald Dancer (R-Plumsted), 45,901
- Nancy Munoz (R-Summit), 45,515
- Jon Bramnick (R-Westfield), 45,439
- Peter Biondi (R-Hillsborough), 45,199
- Denise Coyle (R-Bernards), 44,612
- Charlotte Vandervalk (R-Montvale), 44,612
Assemblywoman Linda Greenstein (D-Plainsboro) was the top vote getter among Democratic Assembly candidates, with 37,958 votes in a politically competitive district. Assemblywoman Annette Quijano (D-Elizabeth), who was running unopposed, received the least number of votes of any winning Assembly candidate statewide: 20,054.
Ballots cast in Bergen County-based districts offer an interesting comparison: in District 37, where State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Teaneck) was at the top of the ticket as the Democratic nominee for Lt. Governor, incumbents Gordon Johnson (D-Englewood) and Valerie Huttle (D-Englewood) received 32,845 and 32,440 votes, respectively. And in District 38, incumbents Connie Wagner (D-Paramus) and Joan Voss (D-Fort Lee) won 28,618 and 28,078 votes, respectively. But in District 39, Charlotte Vandervalk, an incumbent, and Robert Schroeder (R-Washington Township), seeking an open seat, took 44,612 and 42,477 votes, respectively. And in District 40, incumbents David Russo (R-Ridgewood) and Scott Rumana (R-Wayne) took in 42,359 and 42,143 votes, respectively.