On Tuesday, November 6, the 2018 midterm elections saw Democrats take control of the House of Representatives by a margin of 222 to 199, with a number of other races that are too close to call.  Also, as of election night, Republicans have 51 seats in the U.S. Senate.  It appears that Republicans may pick up two more Senate seats in Arizona and Florida, which would take them to at least a 53 – 47 majority. Democrats also picked up seven new governorships, beating Republicans in states throughout the country. (We will keep you apprised of the outstanding races.)

California Ballot Question

In an extremely important ballot question, voters in California rejected Proposition 10 by a 62% to 38% margin. Proposition 10, which was vehemently opposed by the apartment industry, would have overturned limits to rent control established under the 1995 Costa Hawkins Act.  However, through the coordinated efforts of the apartment industry, it was rejected in one of the most lopsided defeats for a California initiative in recent years.

New Jersey Congressional Races

In New Jersey, turnout was far higher than normal for a midterm election, and turnout in some areas surpassed the turnout seen in past presidential elections.

At the top of the ballot, voters reelected Democrat Bob Menendez to a third term in the U.S. Senate. Menendez defeated Republican Bob Hugin, a former pharmaceutical executive, by a margin of 53% to 44%.

In New Jersey’s competitive House of Representatives Races, Democrats gained seats in the following districts:

In the Second Congressional District (Covering towns in Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean and Salem Counties), Democrat State Senator Jeff Van Drew defeated Republican Atlantic County Freeholder Seth Grossman by a margin of 52% to 46%.  Van Drew, who has been in the State legislature since 2008, has worked closely with the NJAA on a variety of issues impacting the industry.  Given that Van Drew is now going to Congress, his State Senate seat will be open as of January.  At this point, we expect Assemblyman Bob Andrzejczak to be his likely successor.  NJAA also has a strong relationship with Assemblyman Andrzejczak.  We will keep you apprised.

In the Seventh Congressional District (Covering all of Hunterdon County, and parts of Essex, Morris, Somerset, Union, and Warren counties), Democrat Tom Malinowski, former undersecretary in the U.S. Department of State, defeated five term incumbent Republican Congressman Leonard Lance by a margin of 50% to 48%.

In the Eleventh Congressional District (Which is centered around Morris County, but also has towns in Essex, Passaic, and Sussex Counties), Democrat Mikkie Sherrill, a former Navy Helicopter Pilot and federal prosecutor, was elected to replace retiring Republican Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen after she defeated Republican Assemblyman Jay Webber by a 65% to 43% margin.

As of Wednesday, the race in the Third Congressional District (Covering Burlington and Ocean Counties) remains too close to call. Republican Congressman Tom MacArthur leads the race against Democrat Andrew Kim by 2,315 votes, with a significant number of absentee and provisional ballots still needing to be counted.  We will keep you apprised.

In addition to these competitive races, voters reelected the following incumbents: Congressman Donald Norcross (D-1), Congressman Chris Smith (R-4), Congressman Josh Gottheimer (D-5), Congressman Frank Pallone (D-6), Congressman Albio Sires (D-8), Congressman Bill Pascrell, Jr. (D-9), Congressman Donald Payne, Jr. (D-10), and Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-12).

New Jersey Special Legislative Elections

While much of the focus was on the national races, there were ten special elections held for State Senate and Assembly members to fill mid-term vacancies. All of the legislators appointed to temporarily fill these vacancies were elected to serve the remainder of their terms (list below). You may have met many of these lawmakers at the recent NJAA PAC Legislative reception.

  • Senator Joseph Lagana (D-38)
  • Assemblyman William Spearman (D-5)
  • Assemblywoman Verlina Reynolds-Jackson (D-15)
  • Assemblyman Anthony Verrelli (D-15)
  • Assemblywoman Linda Carter (D-22)
  • Assemblyman Pedro Mejia (D-32)
  • Assemblywoman Britnee Timberlake (D-34)
  • Assemblyman Clinton Calabrese (D-36)
  • Assemblywoman Lisa Swain (D-38)
  • Assemblyman Christopher Tully (D-38)