Republicans swept the District 16 legislative election on Tuesday, with the assembly winners taking their seats by fewer than 3,000 votes.
"What this election says to me is that our message resonated with people and I think it was a very simple message in that it’s all about leadership," Jack Ciattarelli (R-Hillsborough) said of winning an assembly seat. Ciattarelli came into the race as a sitting freeholder in Somerset County.
"People want independent, honest, determined leadership," he continued. "It's all about the size and cost of government; they want it to be smaller, less expensive and smarter and about addressing New Jersey’s property tax crisis. As complicated as things are today, this campaign was simple in that sense. And that message resonated with people."
Ciattarelli will be joined by incumbent Assemblyman Peter Biondi (R-Hillsborough). Biondi and Ciattarelli defeated Marie Corfield (D-Flemington) and Joe Camarota (D-Kendall Park) for the two seats. The winning margin for each was less than 3,000 votes.
In the senate race, incumbent Christopher Bateman (R-Somerville) defeated Maureen Vella (D-Hillsborough) by an unofficial total of 20,594 to 16,776.
"This is a great victory," Bateman said. "With the redistricting, it became much more competitive for us. In fact, there are 5,300 more democrats registered, so it was an uphill battle. And they got awful negative, particularly against my running mate who was has cancer and was in the hospital, they attacked his record, and then they went after me. A lot of negative pieces went out against me that just weren’t true, so this was a sweet victory."
Unofficial totals from county clerk websites are listed below.
SenateCandidate Somerset County votes Other counties Total Christopher Bateman* (R-Somerville) 10,656 9,938 20,594 Maureen Vella (D-Hillsborough) 6,565 10,211 16,776
AssemblyCandidate Somerset County votes Other counties Total Peter Biondi (R-Hillsborough)* 10,336 9,603 19,939 Jack Ciattarelli (R-Hillsborough) 10,166 9,224 19,390 Marie Corfield (D-Flemington) 6,824 10,275 17,099 Joe Camarota (D-Kendall Park) 6,692 10,428 17,120